Made for Love by Alissa Nutting

Those who take themselves and their books super seriously, be warned…this might not be the book for you.

However, if you are a fan of bizarre books, appreciate dark humor, and can see past super weird stuff to appreciate the profound lessons about humanity underneath, you’re going to want to read Made for Love by Alissa Nutting.

The premise of this book alone is completely outlandish, and everything just gets kookier as the story progresses. Made for Love follows the stories of two dysfunctional characters–Hazel and Jasper. Hazel has moved in with her father after leaving her husband Byron, the CEO of the most powerful technology company in the world, Gogol. The reader learns from the beginning that Byron and Hazel’s marriage was far from conventional from the beginning, filled with an overwhelming sense of coldness and reliance on Gogol’s technology. When Byron began taking steps to implant a computer chip in Hazel’s brain to connect her every thought and action directly to his own mind, Hazel fled, knowing that Byron would do whatever possible to find her and bring her back. The book begins with Hazel’s appearance at her widowed father’s senior living trailer park and her discovery that her father is in a very committed…and very kinky…relationship with a lifelike sex doll named Diane.

Strange, right?

That’s not all.

The other character in the book is Jasper, a con artist who makes women fall in love with him and give him their life savings before breaking up with them and disappearing from their lives. His career comes to a crashing halt when he has a freaky encounter with a dolphin that leaves him solely sexually aroused by thoughts of dolphins and completely unable to become turned on by humans.

I warned you.

Luckily for me, I LOVE books with crazy plots and super strange characters, and no sense of humor is too outlandish for me. I have read almost every single Christopher Moore novel at least twice, and Made for Love reminded me a lot of his books. (Side note: If you have never read any of Christopher Moore’s books and want to laugh out loud until your sides hurt at books that feature totally bizarre plots, check him out. Start with Practical Demonkeeping or Lamb, for sure!) The plot and characters were eccentric, to say the least, but they were also richly drawn and wildly creative.

Although those eccentricities were incredibly far-fetched, Alissa Nutting has written them in a way that draws readers in and makes them forget, for just a moment, that they are reading a piece of fiction. All of the characters are deeply flawed and a bit difficult to like, but they all feature elements that finds readers sympathetic to them. Hazel just wants to be loved but has self-destructive tendencies, Hazel’s dad just wants to enjoy what’s left of his life, and Jasper has deep abandonment issues.  And once readers move past the wild plot and begin to see the deeper issues at work, this becomes much more than the entertaining, (darkly) humorous, bizarre book it seems to be on the surface. Instead, this book reveals itself as a compelling and engaging look at humanity and raises important questions about the lengths we are willing to go to in order to feel important and loved and the role technology has in our lives.

Seriously. If you appreciate all that is weird and strange, give Made for Love a try. You will be wildly entertained, more than mildly disturbed, and surprisingly enlightened.

Rating:

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