Working-class future leader Roy Castleberry and pampered over-thinker Jonathan Campbell are 18-year-old freshmen at the University of Oklahoma who think they know everything. Roy thinks Jonathan could succeed in wooing Abby if he stopped obsessing over Walden. Jonathan thinks Roy could learn to be self-actualized if he’d stop flirting with every girl he meets. They make a wager: if Roy can prove that he has some poetic thought, some inner life, A SOUL, then Jonathan will give him the car he got for graduation. Roy takes the bet because he thinks this is the easiest game he’s ever played, and he spends the rest of the school year proving the existence of his soul, competing against Jonathan for Abby’s attention, dodging RA’s who are curious about the fake ID ring in his room, and dealing with his past. For Roy and Jonathan, college life in 1986 is richer, both experientially and financially, than either of them expected.
When I agreed to read Soulless Creatures, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew the story was set in Oklahoma in the eighties, both of which are foreign to me, so I was a little nervous. What if I didn’t like it? But I had faith in Ms. Grubb. Her first novel, Falling For Your Madness, captivated me with a few simple pages. It’s no surprise, then, that Soulless Creatures did the same.
I have never in my life laughed out loud so much while reading a book! My husband kept asking me what I was looking at, thinking I must have found a funny picture or video. This book is absolutely hilarious, but it isn’t straight comedy. Prepare yourself for romance, introspection, and intrigue.
Three things about the composition of Soulless Creatures particularly impressed me. First, Ms. Grubb manages to immerse the reader in the culture of a very specific time and place without being heavy handed. Second, she ties up all loose ends at the story’s conclusion, which might not sound like much now, but trust me – with a story this complicated, that is an art form! Third: count the animal references. You’ll see why. 🙂
I absolutely recommend this book without reservations.
**I am acquainted by this author through social media and received a free copy in exchange for an honest review**
Click here for my interview with Katharine Grubb.