I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
To say that “Deep In The Bin Of Bob” is a strange story would be an understatement. The story starts from one bizarre scenario and rapidly switches to new outlandish scenarios. In the beginning, “Deep”, the main character, follows a woman into her home, which is completely dark and lit by glowworms. There’s a bottomless pit in the middle of her kitchen, and she has things like a hippopotamus skin stuffed inside of a bear skin. It just gets stranger from there as Deep goes through the building working his way towards the roof, where a hot air balloon has crashed into it and he’s convinced someone needs help.
If I were to describe what the story was like, I think I’d pick “Jacob’s Ladder” as something similar. It’s kind of like reading a fever dream.
Like the main character, this book tries very hard to be deep, and in a lot of spots it works. There’s a lot of parts that will make you think. The writing is very stylistic, spending a lot of time describing scenes in detail and using a lot of metaphors. The author is good at painting strange, surreal scenes in a way that can be pictured. There’s even the odd morbid but entertaining thought:
He would sit the owner down, and tell them how sorry he was, but their dog had been murdered by gravity.
Deep minded the sinkhole, he minded the sinkhole very much.
However, the book does get majorly bogged down by its own need to follow that style and be overly lengthy. One of the first issues I ran into was metaphors that make no sense.
His muscles felt heavy, like he was walking on toothpaste.
Walking on toothpaste could be a good description for the floor, but how does it relate to how heavy his muscles are?
His voice was thin and curly.
Thin I could maybe equate to weak, but curly? You can say that someone’s hair feels like a poodle’s fur – that brings up a very specific image and feel. You can say something smells like grass. People know what grass smells like. But if you say something was like flying the way poodles do or sounded like grass screaming it doesn’t add anything because it’s meaningless gibberish. Poodles don’t fly, grass doesn’t scream, putting those words into a sentence just pads it out with confusing chatter. It feels more like metaphors being shoved into a sentence because there’s a metaphor quota rather than something that adds to the description, and they take away from the time of more meaningful things.
Then, there are parts where things are shoved into paragraphs that have nothing to do with anything. In one part it’s talking about giants, caves and the smell of the air, and then there’s this:
Deep imagined Christmas day being a war between those who wanted to celebrate, and those who wanted to get it over with.
And then it’s back to describing the size of the cutlery the giant is using. What did that sentence have to do with what was being described? Why is it there? It didn’t add to the situation at all, had nothing to do with what was being talked about, and is never mentioned again. It’s a random thought barfed into the middle of a scene. There’s also many times the stories repeats things.
There are entire scenes in this book that could be removed without losing anything from the story, and parts that feel shoved in there. For example, there’s a scene where Deep ends up in a room with Truman, Churchill and Hitler, and it’s about how dropping atomic bombs is a bad thing and how people fight wars and such in the name of God. The scene revolves around Truman and Churchill’s guilt, essentially, and them being in a match to see who’ll take the ‘blame’, sort of. This scene didn’t really have anything to do with anything else going on and could have been completely taken out, but with it in there I couldn’t help but keep thinking how someone very, very important was missing from this scene if it was trying to make a point about what happens in war.
What about the Emperor of the very country that was being talked about? He’s not even mentioned. So the whole scene plays out like it’s touching on the most obvious – atomic bombs are bad – and sweeping by anything deep about it. On top of that, it’s just sort of there and interrupts the flow of what was happening (Deep chasing “Loony Jikininki” to get his pig back).
To be honest, I had to force myself through a good portion of the book. These sort of odd, random scenarios constantly happening just made it seem like Deep was walking from one random scene to another with little rhyme or reason. Many times I’m not even sure how he got into a scene. There was a part in the middle where everything turned into ‘words’ and the book started talking about what the reader on the Kindle was thinking (I actually don’t have a Kindle to begin with) that didn’t work for me at all because of this. It tried to set up a scenario with a dog dying and the reader not wanting the dog to die, but I was impatiently waiting for that part to end so that something could happen. Because the story meandered about I was just waiting for it to go somewhere. I actually still don’t see a need for that part even after finishing the story. It’s like a movie that’s sitting on a landscape shot for too long.
I liked Richard the best as a character I think. Most characters in this book couldn’t really be considered a character. It was more like Deep walked in on them somewhere and they started monologuing about stuff. Richard was probably the only one who stuck around and had her own thoughts about different events. Deep could be a character, and Beena at the end could be a character, but everyone else is a monologue. They don’t really act or talk like people. It suits the story well enough but it means there’s a limit to how much anyone can be related to.
That said, after getting through all of that the ending itself was pretty good. Not necessarily the parts with Hitler, but the parts that actually had to do with Deep and what was happening in his life. I liked his talk with Beena, and I liked his realization of who some people had been previously. I thought that part was particularly well done after painting Beena out to be almost like she was someone perfect before.
The ending was good. Not necessarily “good” in the happy sense, but it suited the book. It was enough that I was glad I read the book, even if at times I had to keep pushing myself forward. I do think this is probably a book that someone could read twice and look into what happened earlier after they know the ending.
If things like child molestation, gory imagery or suicide are something that you want to avoid, then you probably shouldn’t read this book.
I give it a 6/10, because even though I thought the ending was good I have to remember how hard it was to push myself through some of the chapters.