Question: What do you do when you find the woman of your dreams?
Answer: Sleep with everyone else in sight. Then cry when she stops speaking to you. Duh.
Well, that’s what you’d do if you were Harry Driscoll, anyway.
Harry is unfulfilled. He has a girlfriend, but a disease keeps her from having sex. He has a job, but his own apathy keeps him from being promoted to a better position. He has an apartment, but his lack of substantial income keeps him from a place that's larger than a closet.
Any normal person would either look beyond the sex or move on entirely, work hard or get a new job, and save up or get out of the city. If you can’t take the heat, get outta the kitchen, you could say. Or: shit or get off the pot. But he can’t seem to do this, either.
And so we have Frog King, the story of Driscoll’s discontent. In an interesting twist, Davies manages to make the reader like an utterly unlikable character. Driscoll is self-absorbed, apathetic, whiny, and dishonest. The reader watches him perform deed after awful deed, and yet, I rooted for him the entire time. In fact—
—when Evie, Driscoll’s girlfriend, finally wises up and leaves him, I got pissed. Seriously PISSED. She’s coming back, right? I mean, like, in the sequel? Ef her anyway, man. You don’t need that bitch! And yet, Driscoll deserves everything he got.
END SPOILER ALERT
Sidenote: I just have to say how much I love the name Evie. Just say it: EEEEVIEEE. (Evie was also the name of Rachel Weisz’s character in The Mummy, one of my guilty cinematic pleasures. Whatever, the Mummy was hot. Don’t make fun of me.)
Mmmmmm, Imhotep. What? Sorry. Back to Frog King.
Overall I liked Frog King; it was well written and nicely paced. The main character was a sleaze, but I liked him too. I do have to say, however, that it makes New York City seem like the most awful place on earth. Not liking most people or tight spaces, I’m already inclined to agree, but Davies paints his city using all of my most hated things: cramped but expensive apartments, the rat race of office work, pretentiousness and snobbery. There were others, but I’ve blissfully forgotten them.
In a nutshell: A fun read that made me root for the main character at the same time I wanted to kill him.
Bibliolatry Scale: 4.5 out of 6 stars