The Repossession Mambo
by Eric Garcia
Review by Steve Sawicki
Harper Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780061802836
Date: 01 April 2009 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Remy is a bio repo-man, assigned people who have gone past due on their payments for the artificial body parts they've acquired by loans through the credit union. Get a few days beyond the agreed upon time period and Remy comes looking for you to take back the artificial organ (artiforg). If it's a foot or a hand you might survive. If it's a heart or a lung, definitely not. This work has never really bothered Remy, who's gone through five wives, a war in Africa, and hundreds if not thousands of repossessions. It hasn't bothered him until he wakes up one day in the hospital to find himself the recipient of an artificial heart. The process changes Remy. Changes him in ways that he would never have imagined and ultimately creates the kind of conflict that may just kill him. On the other hand he meets a woman who may just be wife number 6.
This is an odd kind of novel, both for the subject matter which really stretches the fabric of near future reality--I mean can any of us really imagine a way in which it would be allowed to go out and cut people open to repossess their artificial heart? But, okay, I can let that slide for a good story. No, the oddness comes from the really strange non-linear story telling device that Garcia chooses to use to get his story across. It flits back and forth in time so you really have to pay attention to what's going on. Usually not a big problem, although I got a bit lost once or twice in the time stream. However, if you like a story that moves from beginning to end then you will not like this at all. Garcia is all over the place and I can only imagine the process he used to keep this all straight or how many vacations his editor had to take after the thing was finished.
Ultimately I enjoyed the book. It was a bit light on plot and not very deep in subject but pretty entertaining. A great read when you're in a place where you can't concentrate. Except, that is, for the structure which may require some to make margin notes. I found the characters interesting and Garcia a pretty adept story teller which makes the whole package work.
Very entertaining and with an ending that many won't see coming. Fun and an excellent book to bring to the beach or for that long plane flight.