Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Sin by Shaun Allan

What would you do? Could you kill a killer? Does the death of one appease the deaths of a hundred? What about that hundred against a thousand?

What if you had no choice?

Meet Sin. No, not that sort of sin, but Sin, crazy as a loon (you ask Sister Moon), and proud of it. Sin locks himself away in a mental home and, every so often, gets violent. That’s only so they’ll give him those nice drugs, though. The ones that help him forget.

It’s a pity they don’t work.

Sin, you see, has a serious problem. Well, it’s not so much his problem, as ours – yours, mine and everyone else’s. People die around him. He doesn't like it and he can't help it. But someone else knows, and he has to stop them... and himself...

Flip and catch...

Insane, that’s what this book is, and I mean that in the nicest possible way. The first time I was treated to Sin’s point of view, I wondered if I had gone insane myself and muttered, “What the hell…?” He’s off-the-charts random, but there’s a very good reason for it. He’s in a mental institution—asked to be put in there himself—because he found a 2p coin that makes weird things happen. If he flips it, bad things occur. He didn’t realise it at first, but the more he flips it, the more bad things happen until he can’t deny it any longer. He’s causing people to get hurt, to die. He tries getting rid of the coin, but the bloody thing keeps finding its way back to him.

As the tale progresses and Sin transports himself out of the institution because he’d rather die than be this insane, his thought processes calm a little. He doesn’t go off on so many tangents, and it’s almost like him being in the mental home makes him worse…but that’s a bit of plot I won’t go into due to spoilers.

The way Sin’s mind works is actually pretty much like mine. He thinks of one thing and that leads to another. It’s like a game of mind word association, where one thought makes another, and so on, until he’s so far away from his original thought he has to pause to remember what the hell he was on about in the first place. It’s amusing but also frustrating (this is not a negative comment! Read on…), because as a reader you want to know what happens next, but because we’re living in his mind, with what he has to cope with every day, you have to have the tangents in order to fully “get” what this poor guy’s going through.

After Sin transports himself out, he meets up with this farmer (no plot spoilers here!) and his dead sister. Honestly, it sounds mental, but he isn’t mad—it’s happening, it’s real, and I felt quite sorry for him in a way. I wouldn’t want to be him if you paid me. The doctor at the institute wants Sin back, and Sin’s sister, Joy, wants to help Sin, let him know what’s going on, but she’s not allowed to tell him. So she orchestrates things so she’s not exactly telling but showing, and that’s where things start to make sense to Sin. He isn’t crazy, and that’s a big relief, and I felt incredulous on his behalf that he was used in the way he was. It was cruel.

Woolworths. (I really understood the comment that follows mention of this store. I thought the same thing myself when Woolworths closed down! See, Sin isn’t insane! Unless I am too!)

The Royal Bank of Pocket.

…bless its sweet little copper heart…

I thought I’d mention that just to keep the mood up. (LMAO!)

…ducking into alleys for a crafty ciggy or nipping home for a packet of salt ‘n’ vinegar…

…enough to make them often look like disembodied heads floating along the hall… (Really vivid image here. Brilliant.)

A bit like PMT is an excuse for a woman to tear a man’s balls off. (AAAAAhahahahah!)

…one partridge in a pear treed mansion…

Knots as big as fists were digging their knuckles into my back…

Viennese Whirls. (THE best biscuit EVER!)

He slipped on a patch of piss in the Oak Tree toilets… (Ahahahaha!)

I could feel it in the air tonight, oh Lord. (I nearly wet myself here.)

Well tough titties.

It’d make a change from living in a town called Malice. Oooh, yeah. (LMAO!)

Sin is not only insane but it’s FUNNY. There are some really good laughter lines inside, well placed to set you laughing when you aren’t expecting it. I felt as insane as Sin is meant to be, relieved when he wasn’t insane, and disgruntled that the poor guy went through what he did. He’s a happy enough soul, though, doesn’t complain much even when the chips are seriously low down, and I think he could just about cope with anything after going through this!

1 comment:

Dean Lappi said...

What a great review of "Sin"! I love this site! I agree, Sin is amazing, and I also rated it (5 stars out of 5 stars). Look for great things to happen to Sin in the very near future!!! Kind regards, Dean