Aaron Walsh is morbidly unhappy. Suicidal, but lacking the will to kill himself, he is a pure nihilist. There’s a reason that he’s 29 and lives with his mom: he’s a creep through and through. And now things are about to get worse. A woman comes into the computer shop where he works, which leads to a twisted obsession, and his damaged life might just fall apart completely.
It’s strange to claim that a book about a guy who is this downtrodden as “fun,” but Walsh is a spirited narrator, no matter how spiritless he claims to be. Mind you, he’s an extremely creepy narrator and person, even hateful at times. Profane and grotesque, he’s still compelling; you’re driven to keep reading to see just how downtrodden he can be.
This isn’t a book that wallows in horror or even self-pity, it’s an angry-young-man novel through and through with just the right amount of humor that it doesn’t feel like getting hit over the head. At times Walsh comes off more as an angry young teenager than angry young man, which is less a reflection of his maturity and more a reflection of the prose. Some of his observations are a little more obvious than others. He also straddles the line between unsympathetic to someone too awful to read about, but McGovern never crosses it completely.
The cover should give a signal of what’s in store – really one of the more evocative book covers you’ll ever see, which manages to be both horrifying and clever, as is Walsh’s voice. He’s not a character for everyone, but if you’re in the mood to explore the dark depths of human behavior, Morbid Thoughts is a riveting read.