Recently I had the experience reading CONTROL by Charlotte Stein which was rather like being squished. You know when some human just picks you up and cuddles you and slobbers on your head and says, “Oh kitty kitty you are so soft kitty,” and you have to bite them? Sort of like that, except it’s better than when you steal the human’s chair and she doesn’t notice you when she comes back with her first cup of coffee and sits right down on you. Stupid human.
I read a lot of books, and this contemporary erotic romance was an orsum change of pace. It was so much better than the last book I read about dogs and so much worse than anything with a feline protagonist. In some ways CONTROL reminded me of Red Riding Hood, complete with a basket of food, the woods, and a grandma-eating wolf, except with adult characters faced with lazily crapulous situations. Like, Red was actually in her early twenties, which is the new teens, and legally an adult but soooooo lazy that she didn’t even bother to go to Grandma’s house with the food. She just ate it herself. The wolf, who’d eaten Grandma, got bilious and crapped a lot. Lazy + crapulous, see? None of which actually happened in this story, but it was LIKE that. A twist on what you’d expect.
The book starts off with main characters Madison and Gabriel faced with a potato-y challenge. Both characters behave stinkily about this. One might even say…somewhat CRAPulously. I guess the potatoes in the basket they lazily didn’t take to Grandma failed to agree with them? They should eat tuna and cat chow, like me. In fact, when Gabriel is introduced, in a scene lying down (he’s the lazy one), the plot really starts to get gargantuan. You don’t EXPECT him to be lying down, see? He’s supposed to be taking the gassy potatoes to Grandma. I mean, not to a real Grandma but the metaphorical one. Yet there he is, lounging on the bed like a cat.
I approved of that plot twist.
Gabriel is anxiously no Miranda Richardson. She’s not lazy, I hear, so there’s no need to worry Gabriel ever, at any point in the book, morphs into someone proactive or willing to take potatoes to sick old ladies. And don’t even get me started on Madison. The involvement of Madison in the narrative will leave readers cold. Cold as a cat in the winter whose owners won’t turn the floor vents on high. Cold as a potato discarded under the fridge. Cold as the ice the human thought it would be funny to put in the cat water, so of course you pawed it out of the bowl and let it melt on the tile, so the human stepped in it and slipped.
The story sloppily continues, like a human trying to keep her balance on wet tile, until it seems all wormholes are lost. For whatever reason, humans don’t like the potatoes with worms. Go figure. I think worms are fun. The ending will push you…right out of the chair you tried to steal from the human. The pace was like riding in the Starship Enterprise with a driver who is wearing a tank top on a road that winds through an inexplicable hole. Bumpy, fashion challenged, but exciting all the same.
If you are looking for a way to spend oceans of time, CONTROL is definitely an option. The characters and plot are so evol compared to other books on the market today. Where else can you find someone as lazy as Gabriel and as cold as Miranda in the same plot, along with metaphorical potatoes and grandmothers? Granted, the feline content in the book was the opposite of lots, which could have been better, but no author is completely salubrious. Most authors aren’t quite THIS obsessed with potatoes either, which takes getting used to. All in all, a jejune tale about terror (of having to get off the bed and shift your ass), lying down some more (once the terror subsides), and being on pins and needles, which I don’t like. Really, I prefer to take the pins and needles and scatter them all over the floor, like ice cubes, because FUNNY. You will not be angry if you pick this one up!
Rating: Eleventy empty cardboard boxes (HOORAY!) and a execrable can of peas and carrots. Peas and carrots = almost as bad and gassy as potatoes.