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Book Review

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Dave vs. the Monsters


Author: John Birmingham
Publisher: Titan Books
RRP: £7.99
ISBN: 978 1 78116 623 9
Publication Date: 29 May 2015

Dave is a douchbag, misogynistic egotist, a true misanthrope and those are his good qualities. With the barrier between Earth and the demon dimension now breached, Dave has through an action more stupid than heroic been granted powers on par with a superhero. Being Dave he uses his new found celebrity status to hang out in Las Vegas hotels banging the waitresses and being generally please that his ego was not the only thing which grew with his new powers. The demon hordes wait for no man and soon Dave, with his new lawyer in tow, finds him answering the call to battle once more.

Dave vs the Monsters: Resistance (2015. 380 pages) is the second in a trio of book by John Birmingham.

It would be fair to say that this book will not appeal to all audiences, if you like slacker/stoner movies then you’ll probably find much to enjoy in this novel. In the first novel Dave was a reluctant hero and not a very good man. He cheated on his wife and his intellectual desires never really rose above where the next drink or the next broad was coming from. Killing a Demon and inheriting both his knowledge and powers allowed Dave to destroy the first Demon incursion and it would be fair to say the whole thing has gone to his head.

If you like the bad language and attitude of Dave from the first book, then book two offers more of the same, in spades. This is not a book for the easily offended. Structurally, it continues flipping the story between what is happening to Dave, fighting Demons, and this time tracking down a Russian operative who seems to have the same powers and the happenings in the underworld.

If Birmingham has increased the level of humour in the story he has also increased the level of horror, with splattering of gore aplenty, some described to make you laugh some to make you barf. I think that as he expands the Demon world, I almost enjoy these sections more than spending time with Dave.

Both sides of the story are told with wit, this is not designed to inform or educate, only to entertain and depending on your reaction to Dave, the book succeeds or is a complete turn off. The pace is deliberately fast and the tongue is firmly planted in the cheek.

The plot is further expanded with the inclusion of some good secondary characters. I’m sure that for most readers Thresh will come out on top as a good character as well as Professor X Boylan, the lawyer who ingratiates himself into Dave’s life when he gets sued by his ex-wife. Both make for a level of good comic relief.

The book ends on a cliff hanger, so if you liked this one you're more than certain to shell out for the next.

The level of possible offence and type of humour involved means that there are few grey areas. You're either going to love or hate this second tale of Dave.


Charles Packer

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