ARC Mini-Review: Mr.Either/Or by Aaron Poochigan

Rating: 1 Star – DNF

Release: Oct 10, 2017

Aaron Poochigian’s Mr. Either/Or is an ingenious debut, a verse novel melding American mythology, noir thriller, and classical epic into gritty rhythms, foreboding overtones, and groovy jams surrounding the reader in a surreal atmosphere. Imagine Byron’s Don Juan on a high-stakes romp through a Raymond Chandler novel. Think Hamlet in Manhattan with a license to kill.


Here’s the truth: I was too excited. This was my second ARC ever, and the premise of a thriller, and IN PROSE?!! OMG! giMME !!
BUUUUT, but but but buuut ~ I feel like it somehow crashed and burned. A little. It wasn’t terrible, but I’ve got high standards. Quite high standards, I’m afraid. After, like, 10 days or something, I decided I’ve had enough, and I just didn’t enjoy it, it happens. All the time.
Here’s the thing:

The idea behind it is really original;I love mixed genres, so as soon as I knew it was a thriller written in verse, I was sold. The plot is interesting enough; there’s an intriguing prologue. In the way of Dan Brown, the MC has a mission closely tied to an artifact from an ancient culture; this time with Asian origins. But sometimes it’s hard to perceive the rhymes, and after four lines it’s hard to feel the rythm. It might be to help you focus on the story more than on the poetry, so it isn’t so bad.

For fast-paced, it sure is fast-paced. There’s also quite a sense of humor. He goes in the sewers, tells himself “Pick it, Princess / Poo-water or them.” That was, like, my favorite part xD But still.
Weirdly enough, my opinion seems to be quite the unpopular one ! A lot of people that got ARCs absolutely loved it, so you might too ! But it missed the mark for me because it did not trigger the ‘I want to read this now’ thought, which just made me less likely to like it. I really wish I gripped it and never stopped reading, but it didn’t happen !

There were definitely things to commend about the book, but there is definitely a lot missing out. Sometimes it feels long, heavy, complicated, like it’s trying to force the rythm over the story. It’s hard to read a verse or two and be hooked. It took me willpower to even get to the half, even though it is really short. I would have wanted to see a sidekick or two right from the start, more background and life to the main character, a more fluid flow between poetry and story. All along I felt like reading it was more chore than enjoyment, and it did not call to me to pick it up and read at all.

All in all: The idea behind it is so creative, and the storyline would have been intriguing and more thriller-material if the transit -from a story fit for prose to one fit for poetry- was done some other way.

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