Anatomy of a Book: Mr Bloody Sunshine by Adam Watts

Dean Stokes works a dull job for a mean person. He has no prospects and no objectives, and he’s only outlet to feel alive is the occasional murder.

I have a briefcase full of cutlery in the boot of the car. (p.10)

This could be a good story though it fails. The writing is a little slack. Long passages could be tightened. Equally some passages work really well.

He stops momentarily and lets his tongue dangle like a Christmas tree decoration, it twists slightly, hanging on the last scrap of flesh before he cuts it with the end of his scissors. (p.88)

These good points are outnumbered by often repeated words and some dullness cause by not following many staples of a good book:


Changing Status:

Dean has no objective in life. He’s status does not change. He could get caught for murder, but it is arguable if he is really worried about that. The events around his life pass with little involvement by him

The Worst:

Dean doesn’t want to keep his girlfriend but agrees to go on holiday with her, and then little results. When the worst events to the character’s emotions are possible they is never truly attempted to be avoided by Dean. It is apathetic and frustrating.

High Stakes:

Dean has nothing to lose. In fact, he could go to gaol and be raped. He worries about that, but does not seem intent on taking action to avoid it. He is passive in his story.

Believable Characters:

Yes, it feels the writer knows real people like many of the characters. However the central character, being homicidal, is too standard. As though a review was read on what a murderer personality is like and so it is mimicked in the book.

Time Pressure:

The events occur quickly, that can be said. So it can be read because it feels like it is ending soon. It is not slow moving as more annoying books are.


Does rant on the world and complains about certain “greeny” characters and corporations. In the end the book seems to be a tale warning about compliancy and apathy in life. Surely this could be done in a more involved manner. Instead of having an apathetic focal point in the book, rather than not doing anything, not caring also makes the reader not care.


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