The Last Projector by David James Keaton
A review by: Hatebino Hateglesias
You know those individuals who walk out of a bad movie and immediately start saying that the director should give them back the two hours they spent watching the awful film? Well, David James Keaton owes two weeks of reading time because that’s how long I wasted reading The Last Projector, a monstrously thick “novel” that starts out bad, gets incredibly confusing, and ends nowhere.
Since I’ve already wasted enough of my time on this abomination, I’ll just copy and paste the book description from Amazon. Here it is:
“In this hysterical fever dream of a novel, meet an unhinged paramedic turned porn director uprooted from an ever-shifting '80s fantasy. Discover a crime that circles back through time to a far-reaching cover-up in the back of an ambulance. Reveal a manic tattoo obsession and how it conspires to ruin the integrity of a film and corrupt identity itself. Unravel the mystery surrounding three generations of women and the one secret they share. And follow two amateur terrorists, whose unlikely love story rushes headlong toward a drive-in apocalypse.”
Let me break it down for you:
1. There’s nothing “hysterical” about this narrative unless you think rape, hardcore porn, madness, accidents, and an unhealthy obsession with dogs are hilarious things. Seriousy, half this thing is about dogs walking, dogs showing up, dogs that may or may not have attacked someone, tattoos of dog bites, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I like dogs…except poodles. Fuck poodles. And fuck people who own poodles and their pretentious asses. Anyway, I digress. Too many damn dogs in here.
Whoever edited this thing and left those canines in there was probably high.
2. The word “fantasy” in there should be in bold. It’s hard to explain, but this is about a guy who turns into another guy, and that doesn’t happen in real life. I was expecting a crime novel, and this isn’t one. There’s violence and bad things happening, but it’s pure crime. There are guns and bad guys doing bad things in Star Wars, but you wouldn’t call Star Wars a crime trilogy, right? Same thing here: this isn’t crime, it’s just weirdness pile up on top on undecipherable narratives that somehow are supposed to coalesce into a story.
3. The tattoo obsession is the only part of that description that’s accurate. The porn director is obsessed with tattoos. His fixation is entertaining for about three pages. After that, it becomes as annoying as the damn dogs. Also, they have a guy here with a breakfast tattooed on his head. Who does that? Or, more appropriate in this case, who the hell writes about things like that? At what point did the “editor” of this thing email the author and said “Yeah, bald guy with the breakfast on his dome? That dude’s totally staying in there.”
4. Amateur terrorists? Whoever wrote this took an SEO course at his or her local community college and didn’t pass. There is no terrorism here. Lovers? Maybe. There are two weirdoes in there that kinda turn into a couple, but their story is lost in the rest of the nonsense.
Okay, so that should more or less give you an idea of what this thing is. You know when academics write poetry and try to impress each other with how many words they know? This is like that except Keaton possesses merely an acceptable handle on the English language. In other words, this novel is what you get when some cranked out loser locks himself up in cabin deep in the woods and jerks his noodle for months until he thinks he has created a novel that will impress his peers simply because it crosses the 500-page mark. Unfortunately, Keaton has no peers because what he’s done, which I’ve decided to call “incest-friendly, overcomplicated, pooch-obsessed porny shit,” is an assassination of a plethora of genres that no sane author would ever attempt. You should only purchase this unnecessarily convoluted jumble of words if you live in an area where bricks aren’t readily available and you want to crush someone’s skull with a heavy rectangular object. Otherwise, do yourself a favor and buy something else. I hear there’s a new Michael Connelly out, so it’s not like you don’t have options.