Review copy provided courtesy of the author
Eric Archer is an out of work actor, and he is honestly the worst. As he narrates his debauchery and misanthropy, his past and present, and fantasy and reality, begin to collide and blur into each other.
With FUBAR, most readers will know by the first page if they want to read it or not--the title is incredibly fitting for the contents--and things only get more deranged as they progress. McKay holds back nothing as Archer gleefully embraces taboos, harshly criticises others for behaviors he shares, and becomes more degenerate with every chapter.
The story is told through Archer's internal monologue, and while I was never able to find him likeable or very sympathetic outside of one particular incident, I did find him equal parts fascinating and exhausting. There was point that I started feeling concerned that I would have to tap out (so much ranting, so much hate sex), but that was the precise moment the story started introducing new threads and suddenly had me hooked and I was dying to find out how everything would fit together.
For all the debauchery on display here, FUBAR is a tense psychological thriller. It even includes the very trendy unreliable narrator, but while many thrillers now want to shout "GOTCHA!" at the reader, FUBAR seems to treat the reader with more....dare I say respect? It never felt like it was trying simply to trick or outsmart me. Instead the tricks were for the protagonist, and I was along for the ride.
This is a tricky one to recommend to very many, but if you enjoy transgressive fiction, and especially if you also enjoy psychological thrillers, FUBAR is one hell of a read!