Book Reviews

Hashtag Good Guy With a Gun by Jeff Chon

What Da Cover Says: Four days before the 2016 Presidential Election, disgraced teacher Scott Bonneville foils a mass shooting at the Pizza Galley Family Fun Center by shooting the would-be perpetrator. He is hailed as a hero, but what the public doesn’t know is that Bonneville walked into Pizza Galley with violent intentions of his own, nurtured by urban myths, conspiracy theories, and deep-seated delusions. Meanwhile, his former student Blake Mesman, inspired by Catcher in the Rye and a not-so-secret brotherhood of aspiring alpha males, reshapes himself into the man he always felt he should be and embarks on his own journey of destruction.

A black-hearted satire of our new reality, Hashtag Good Guy With a Gun tells a story of the real carnage of Trump’s America: guns, the toxic radicalization of young men, fake news, the endless anger and resentment we feel towards one another, spirits broken by a world we refuse to acknowledge as of our own making, and how we convince ourselves of horrible absurdities, rather than face something even more disturbing: our own essential truth.

What I Says: If Trump hadn’t become President then this book wouldn’t have worked for me, being over in the UK it is only because of the circus Trump created that I had any idea what a lot of the things in this book were about….that being said, even with a sane President these events could have still happened it’s just knowledge of their occurrence wouldn’t have been known worldwide. Thanks Trump! You da man!

This book is great fun, I laughed so much at the way each situation was played out and blown out of all proportion on social media. I probably shouldn’t have laughed as the book covers some very violent events but I couldn’t help it because somebody I know “suffers” from the beliefs covered in the book, he loves going down those rabbit holes of conspiracy theories and then tries to convince me it is fact. The book is not all fun and games though, a huge part of the book covers PTSD, a lot of the characters suffer from this and the bulk of the outcomes are down to them not dealing with it, it just isn’t manly to discuss the trauma you have experienced. It doesn’t matter what your opinion is of the characters here and what they’ve done in the book, Chon shares with you how they got to that point and leaves you wondering that if they got help would things have been different?

I have enjoyed this book immensely and the multiple plots and large number of characters mixed with Chon’s sense of humour made me think of Wes Anderson’s movies, it has that same quirkiness and this would definitely work well as a movie. The plot is very sneaky too, with how things tie up at the end, something happens and you realised it was something mentioned way back in the book. There are two other books that heavily influence this one, the catcher in the rye is the first one, there have been CIA conspiracy’s about that book for many a year, the second book is Confederacy of Dunces, a book I read a few years ago and didn’t quite get, reading Hashtag Good Guy With A Gun has given me a new understanding and I might have to do a re-read.

This book is well worth a read, it is one that I’ll be re-reading in years to come and I’ll be able to look back fondly at the time Trump lost the election and acted like a right tit.

Thanks to Sagging Meniscus for the review copy, you can get yourself a copy from HERE:


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