Friday, December 30, 2011

Review of Homemade Sin, a novel by Mark Covington

The great thing about reviewing books is reading them. That was especially true of Homemade Sin. If you like a novel where the beautiful, slutty, ambitious female predator gets her just due, this book is for you. Ever wonder if there’s an upside to being a zombie? Want to see those who really control the world (e.g., your health insurance company) draw the short straw? Want to read about an evil cat with a God complex brought low … or was he? Do you like it when a genuine good-guy gets the girl and wins the day? How about a Greyhound with multiple personalities stopping during a dog race to dance like a Chihuahua as he has visions of himself in a pink tutu? In fact, take all your distorted perceptions about odd things that make you titter and roll them into one delicious jelly roll, and you have Mr. Covington’s newest novel, Homemade Sin. You will savor it; you will delight in it. Who would have believed buzzard puke could be so darn funny … and interesting. Who knew voodoo was homemade sin?

I must say I did not expect the story that unfolded with such wonder before my eyes. The descriptions of Key West and other Hemmingway haunts blew me away, and I was fascinated by Mr. Covington’s clever use of words and extensive vocabulary. Take the description of the Florida sky, for example: drunken charcoal-gray clouds, in the shape of beer kegs, staggered across the wine-purple sky like dark spirits coming together for a cloud coven. I loved it; I couldn’t put it down.

More than anything else, I enjoy witty writing, like when the main character, Roland, finding himself caught between two unsavory characters, refers to himself as the dead meat in the middle of an evil sandwich. I laughed out loud when GD SOBs turned out to be Gods, Deities and Supreme Omnipotent Beings. And the bastardized quote, absinthe makes the heart grow fonder brought a huge smile. These are just a sample of clever material salted throughout the novel; it was a joy to read.

While it is hard to boil down what I loved most about the book, I think I’d have to say the use of Tourette’s syndrome by the evil vixen villain was just wonderful. Under the guise of having no control of her frequent outbursts of obscene words, she told people exactly what she thought of them and their actions whenever she felt the need. Did the villain really have Tourette’s syndrome? I can’t say for sure, but I can say her use of expletives seemed darn convenient. But isn’t that the point with humor? Aren’t the cleverest things you’ve ever heard based on something real? After you stop laughing at something outrageous, don’t you say to yourself: That had to be real; no one could make that up! So it is with Homemade Sin.

I also liked the inclusion of aspects of Mr. Covington’s life in the book, the aspirations of a writer, snippets from his earlier play (Shakespeare in the Trailer Park) and the little boy who discovers a secret world in his parent’s liquor cabinet, to name a few. The humor is not all in your face … some is subtle. My favorite in this category was when Cutter (a piece of work in his own right), who just finished berating zombies for being transfixed, staring straight ahead, oblivious to the outside world, eyes glazed over, etc., immediately sits down to watch television in exactly the same state.

There is no question about it, this is a five-star read.

Thanks for reading,

James L. Hatch


  1. Been a pleasure being a part of this blog with you James, and good review.

  2. Thanks Keith. You are entered in the contest. I'll draw and announce names soon.