"This book is dedicated to THE YOUTH in the hope that they will reject the crappy values of their parents.”
“No, no tragedy, because tragedy is supposed to elicit pity, not disgust. This is the disgusting story of Matt Dreyer’s short life and begins with the murder of his father.”
Ian Martin is brave, really brave. It is clear from the very first paragraph how daring this book is. If you think these excerpts are shocking, prepare yourself for worse. The storytelling quickly evolves into a graphic orgasm of controversial thought.
The tale of Matt Dreyer starts in the wealthy suburb of Constantia, Cape Town. Matt is a student who grew up in a corrupt household, where adultery, violence, lies and deceit were common fare. When his father, Bruce, is killed in a questionable hijacking, Matt’s world is tumbled into despair. He starts to question the very fabric of his false existence and falls head first into disaster. The story is based on the tragic Shakespeare tale Hamlet. This modern take, however, is relentless and in your face - aimed at our desensitized generation.
Pop-Splat will shock many readers. If you fall into the conservative demographic, this book might not be for you. There is much swearing, blasphemy, gruesome killing and sex. However, if you can look past these, you will find an exciting, fast-paced story that grips you and takes you along on a crazy hell ride.
Though an adaptation of Hamlet, Pop-splat is written as a novel and set in a South Africa context. The characters resemble the original ones and certain scenes and events will seem familiar.
The accidental killing of Ben Apollis (Polonius) is a great example of how Martin has twisted Hamlet into a wild narrative and fit it into a South Africa context. Ben is mistaken for a burglar while he tries to hide behind a curtain. Matt proceeds to bludgeon him while on a bloodthirsty mission to stoop a burglary.
The novel is peppered with great thoughts, realities and ideas about the modern generation. These are delivered by Horry (Horatio) and Ed, Matt’s roommate at Rhodes University. During the final few pages everything is put into context.
The intense vengeance within Matt’s careless behaviour and his violent killing form a fitting climax. When Horry shares the final answers about the killings with the press, the impact of the novel hits its mark.
Some might see Matt as a ridiculously deranged maniac, but he is one of the few who have managed to take drastic actions against their upbringings, the corrupt society and the shallow façade many people inhabit. He is the hero who culls the corrupt members of our society.
POP-Splat will make you squirm and make you think. It is an odd combination, but it works. It is like a rollercoaster ride without a safety harness. Brace yourself.
(reviewed the day of purchase)