Zany submariner post-apocalyptic adventure (4/5)
From August 16, 2010
Rear cover synopsis:
"KN4/2-034-17/Jones T. (M(AQ)C GRADE 3) is naïve,
impressionable and very, very willing. His chief talent is conversing
with dolphins in the Aquatic Mammals Division of HMS Profundis, a
gargantuan submarine destined to roam the ocean depths for a century
following a nuclear holocaust.
Years pass and mad captain
succeeds mad captain. Eventually the ship falls under the command of one
Admiral Horatio Prood, a kind, understanding man who finally comes to a
startling conclusion. He is God the Father. The Almighty Himself. And
all he needs now is a Son to sit at his right hand. Enter the innocent Tom Jones of the Aquatic Mammals Division..."
it's quite a silly novel which is silly from the start when Jones is
ordered by his android manager to the office of Commander Bonze, who will
determine if he is psychologically fit, by the request of Admiral Prood, who
has recently discovered that he is God by simple definition. His
computer Profundis is the Holy Ghost by default. Jones is fingered for
being chosen as God's son because he exhibits a talent which seems
miraculous: he speaks with dolphins. After being brainwashed into
preaching the word of the artificial God and acting as His son, Jones is
led around the giant ship in a quest to reach as many ears as possible
through any means possible.
Cowper offers little tidbits of
one-liners which leaves me shaking my head and giggling at the same
time: "Her vast bosom shuddered like a harpooned whale." The dialogue is
also filled with nonsensical pinging and ponging between dense and
childish characters. It's all very light-hearted and has an honest aim
at good humor. However, the humor side of the plot tends to pour forth radically
idiosyncratic characters which take center stage for a few pages and are
never heard from again. It's this point which I find irritating while
wanting Cowper to wrap it all up in a nice, big comical gift.
Cowper writes with grace, whim, wit, and intelligence. Profundis has definitely made me a fan. Since reading Profundis, I've read and reviewed the entire Kinship of the White Bird, starting with The Road to Corlay. On my shelves, I also have Clone and the five story collection in Out There Where the Big Ships Go. I'm eager to delve into these juicy morsels of obscure science fiction!