Review: The Fridgularity by Mark Rayner

I’m really torn about this review.  They say film critics are failed film students.  Well I wouldn’t call myself failed but I do know how hard it is to write fiction. 

The Fridgularity is a novel by Western Media Studies Professor, Mark Rayner. The premise is funny. The Internet goes down and anything digital, along with it. Reactions vary from the practical to the apoplectic to the Twitter-addicted friend of main character Blake, who convinces his colleagues to start writing their tweets and passing them around. Most jobs are rendered obsolete. Everyone wants to know who’s behind the outage. And then Blake’s Internet-connected fridge starts to communicate with him.

It appears to be an artificial intelligence controlling communication and threatening to use nukes on the world. Blake becomes a sensation and an unwilling spiritual leader to millions.  And in any good “good guy” story there has to be a bad guy, and one emerges, for an ultimate battle between good and evil.  And I’ll leave it there because there’s much, much more!

The premise is funny, the flawed and sweaty lead character is endearing, real and likable, but I don’t know what this story wants to be. At first I thought it was a Shaun of the Dead sort of a thing, where the violence is cartoonish and played for laughs.  But it’s not.  It’s a funny premise with serious deaths and gore.  I suppose one could think of it as more realistic because bad things do happen to funny people but it just left me puzzled.

I do recommend The Fridgularity for its originality and one man’s interpretation of the aftermath of the end of technology as we know it.  I’d love to get a glimpse into Rayner’s mind because he obviously knows what he’s writing about and has enough of a whimsical bent to pull off some of the stranger moments of the story.  And I’m all for supporting local, independent authors.  Just don’t expect it the story to be consistent.