I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The F*ck-it List by John Niven
Published by Random House on March 26, 2020
Genres: Fiction, Satire, Thrillers, General
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
‘Gripping, terrifying and hilarious – John Niven is our Hunter S. Thompson.’ ADAM KAY, author of This Is Going to Hurt_____________________________You're terminally ill.Who do you kill? Set in a near-future America, an America that has borne two terms of a Trump Presidency and is now in the first term of Donald’s daughter as president, Frank Brill, a retired small-town newspaper editor, lives in a world where the populist policies Trump is currently so keen to pursue have been a reality for some years and are getting even more extreme – an erosion of abortion rights, less and less gun control, xenophobic immigration policies.
Frank, a good man, has just been given a terminal diagnosis. Rather than compile a bucket list of all the things he’s ever wanted to do in his life, he instead has at the ready his ‘fuck-it list’. Because Frank has had to endure more than his fair share of personal misfortune. And he has the names of those who are to blame for all of the tragedies that have befallen him.
But eventually, as he becomes more accustomed to dishing out cold revenge and the stakes get higher and higher, and with a rogue county sheriff on his tail, there only remains one name left at the bottom of his fuck-it list.
Part political satire, part compulsive thriller, The F*ck-it List is John Niven at his coruscating best._____________________________'It's F**KING TERRIFYING and brilliant and gripping and tragic and humane. Such a well-written book, with such vivid efficient prose, a powerful political plea disguised as a revenge novel. It's brilliant.' MARIAN KEYES
Nothing quite like The F*ck-It List says welcome to a disenchanted America. I mean welcome in the most sarcastic and seeped in satire way possible. In many ways this book is a window into the future if things don’t change. Its nightmarish and I can’t think of anything that would resemble hell on earth. A life where the most basic of human rights have been extradited. This book plays on our fears and hopes pulls them taut and suffocates us with the implications. I had so many feelings whilst reading this book and I did see the parallels between The F*ck-It List and Breaking Bad.
Frank Brill is both a hilarious and tough as old boots protagonist. He’s been diagnosed with inoperable cancer. He decides against treatment. It’s the last bit of control he has left, and he grasps it with both hands. He has about 3-6 months left, just enough time to complete his F*ck-It List. He’s going to die anyway so why not go out with a bang, literally. So far, so good. He’s going to be taking name and settling some wrongs. The premise of the storyline was so relatable that I could feel the earth shake under me, John Niven has created a deathbed revenge thriller and it was everything I had hoped it would be.
The book is set a few years in the future. It is both uncannily realistic for a piece of fiction. I can see the events of the book happening quite easily. The catalyst for yet more violence and censorship. Trump has served two terms and has enabled his daughter to take over as President by screwing over someone else over, that person being Pence. He is the ultimate fall guy. If you think that things cannot possibly get worse from here, boy are you wrong.
Detention centres are the norm, recording equipment of both government buildings and of the military/police carrying out their duties is illegal. You will lose your phone and or arrested, details taken for your social media and you won’t get it back for between 4-6 weeks. All due to the lovely Extreme Patriots Act. It’s a future that should only be the context of a dystopian novel but unfortunately seems more than plausible. John Niven throws punch after punch and leaves your head battling a severe concussion.
I can’t really express how much I loved this book. John Niven has accurately depicted the road that Trump has been more than happy to take America down. I’d love to say that he’s predicted something that couldn’t possibly happen but ya know I fear that its more than possible. Frank Brill is a character that has many flaws and I think that’s why he is as loveable as he is. He’s had three wife’s and two children and in one way or another he has treated them badly. The F*ck-It List is Frank’s redemption arc but with a claustrophic edge. He has a small-town sheriff on his tail in the visage of Chops. He is a stringent Trump supporter and has disturbing proclivities and is struck by a healthy dose of karma.
The F*ck-It List is scandalous, shocking but utterly convincing. A bird’s eye view of a potential future for America. The writing was engaging and utterly unputdownable.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John Niven was born in Irvine, Ayrshire. He is the author of the novella Music from the Big Pink and the novels Kill Your Friends, The Amateurs, The Second Coming, Cold Hands, Straight White Male, The Sunshine Cruise Company, No Good Deed and Kill ‘Em All.