Loved Mars Hated The Food Might Just Be The Funniest Book of 2019
The past summer’s release of Loved Mars Hated The Food by Willie Handler is exactly what the title suggests, a rip-snorting, hilarious romp on Mars. Is it the funniest book of the year? It might just be. You will find yourself laughing out loud.
The story is about Dix Jenner, a professional chef,self-proclaimed slacker and pothead, who talks his way into being accepted by NASA to be part of the first permanent colony on Mars. After an explosion kills his colony companions,he is alone on a foreign planet with nothing but his space suit, a limited supply of oxygen, and two weed-filled brownies. What ensues is a hilarious "rescue" mission by a local Martian couple, Bleeker and Seepa, who smuggle him into their vast underground civilization.
The Martians have absolutely no social filter whatsoever. What results is a wildly imaginative jaunt including terrible sporting events, coffee overdoses, and lost-in-translation innuendo... all of which lead to striking character development for the main character. Although his situation is constantly ridiculous, his attempts to bring Earth culture to the Martians results in him being responsible for the first time in his life. That fact that Dix isn’t especially extraordinary makes his journey so much relatable.
Loved Mars isn’t just a humour novel. It will also appeal to science fiction readers. Handler has done a masterful job at world-building, while making the Martians and their society as a fallible as our own, but in a different way.
Some of Dix’s favourite recipes are even found in the back of the book, which only contributes to this unique and clever novel. It abounds in subtle satire that, rather than drive and define the story, instead gives it depth. It’s funny, unique and daring, much like Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, a six-part novel series first published forty years ago.
Beyond the humour, Handler’s book is well constructed and laid out. The writing style is sharp and easy to read. The story focuses on action rather than spending a lot of time on describing the setting. There’s even a Star Wars-like chase scene in flying cars.Yet what world-building that exists in deftly dealt with. The book has all the elements found in great novels a strong plot, great characters, subtle themes, while providing spaceship full of laughs.