Premise: Ron Currie is an author truly in love. The biggest problem is the woman he loves, Emma, may or may not return the sentiment, at least not in the way he thinks he wants. At Emma’s request, Ron banishes himself to a Caribbean island to write this book, that happens to be about Emma, and also to grieve the loss of his father to cancer.
Ron’s grief over the loss of his father and of Emma leads him to self-destructive behavior: getting into fights, drinking himself into oblivion, engaging in a physical relationship with another woman, and eventually faking his own death. The ramifications of his choices come piling on when he has to face the reality of the living and the people he has hurt along the way.
Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles pulls back the curtain of a mind obsessed with a woman and deeply entrenched in the reality of the world’s problems. What happens when the reality created in our own minds leaks into that of others? And then what happens when the truth is revealed and this false reality is unfulfilled?
Themes: Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles is about obsession over a woman who will not fully have a man. Ron’s love for Emma is made clear to her, but she remains aloof. Even though she cares for him in some way, her inability to give herself fully to him keeps them apart.
This is also a story about love, for Ron’s obsession is based around his ability to only love one woman, Emma, even when he is with other women. His willingness to banish himself to an island is evidence of his love for her in spite of it being unrequited.
Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles shows us how people cope with loss. When Ron’s father is dying of cancer, and he eventually dies, Ron takes us through those last days of his father’s life and the aftermath of what happens when someone is gone from our life. The grief also comes out in his relationship with Emma, as he plunges into a self-destructive tailspin on a Caribbean island.
Pros: I found the narrative of Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles interesting, being first person and journal-like and feeling deeply intimate in the author’s mind. It clips along pretty fast, and jumps from topic to topic in a way that highlights the thought processes of a neurotic mind. The characters are key in making this story believable, especially considering the meta of wondering if this is really an autobiographical story.
Cons: Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles is so packed full of profanity, sex, and moral depravity that made it difficult to read. The thought process was hard to follow at times, going from talking about his dying father to robots becoming self-aware and taking over the world. The neuroses of Ron Currie (character or author?) only speak to a lacking in a life seeking meaning and happiness in the wrong places. The main character comes off as egotistical and pretentious.
Recommendations: Even with a great amount of profanity and sex, my biggest problem with Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles is that Mr. Currie seems to equate reality with truth, and sets up philosophical arguments that are flimsy straw men. In spite of these things, Ron Currie, Jr. touches on some topics that are difficult to talk about but real: coping with death of loved ones and the loss of romantic love. I have a feeling anyone who reads Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles will have strong feelings of either liking or disliking it, but I think everyone who does read it will encounter a story that causes them to think about their own lives.
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I received a copy from the publisher to write this honest review.