Wednesday 4 September 2019

Book Review: Malibu Motel by Chaunceton Bird

Last Updated: 18 September 2021

Malibu Motel by Chaunceton Bird book cover

AD* | Based on the incredible true story of a hapless lottery winner, Malibu Motel is a raw, timeless novel exploring the undercurrents of capitalism. Caish Calloway is struggling to maintain a stake in the land of limitless privilege. Blinded by pride and fueled by greed, Caish is a slave to the wiles of a moneyed mind, as only one who has tasted wealth's powerful fruit can be.

Malibu Motel is an unflinching account of a life lived in the fast lane; a true modern-day rags to riches and back again story. Caish Calloway is the absolute opposite of a traditional hero – a selfish, entitled individual who thinks of little more than money, sex, drugs and alcohol. Despite these obvious problems, you still can’t help but wish Caish luck in the quest to reclaim former wealth and escape the clutches of extreme poverty. From start to finish, Malibu Motel is a real rollercoaster ride and a story that keeps you turning page after page!

Malibu Motel is a story with a difference – the main character, Caish, is the exact opposite of a hero. Now, in itself, this is certainly nothing ground-breaking, but Caish has little to no redeeming qualities at all. To start with, I found this to be little more than an irritating oversight on the part of the author, but as I persevered through the book, I began to see why Caish was created the way they were.

Despite being the principal character, Caish is portrayed simply, as a rough caricature of a person. Their personality is reserved solely for greed, selfishness and self-righteousness, with no real shred of humanity present. Coupled with the fact that Caish’s innermost thoughts are clearly painted yet we still don’t know if they are male or female, and you begin to see the subtle beginnings of a clever web woven by the author.

Caish is at once both a tangible individual and a complete enigma. Certain details are explained at length whereas other key facts are noticeably missing; the end result is a main character who remains somewhat of a mystery throughout.

This jarring familiarity sets the tone for the whole book and also manages to reference the events and the ordeal that Caish experiences.

In actual fact, it reads more like an autobiography than a work of fiction. Despite the tall tales and how unbelievable certain elements of the story are, every page is narrated by Caish and their voice dominates the plot. Despite their selfishness and greed, there is still a small part of you that hopes to see justice delivered to those responsible for Caish’s abrupt change in fortune – a fact which is still exciting, despite its clear foreshadowing.

As things go from bad to worse and all hope seems lost, the reader is still there to offer a sympathetic listening ear and a helping hand. The reader may judge, but Caish judges more.

All in all, Malibu Motel is a bit of a difficult one to review purely because it is just so different from anything else I’ve ever read. It’s a bit of an unexpected anomaly in my usual reading habits and as such, I can only thank the author for bringing it to my attention and for featuring my quotes both inside the book and on the back cover!

Malibu Motel is available to buy now.

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* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Will you be grabbing a copy of the book? Let me know in the comments below!

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