The Book of Ralph
By: Christopher Steinsvold
One day after an eclipse the words Drink Diet Coke appear on the moon. So begins The Book of Ralph and me crossing off by far the oldest unread ARC I had on my list.
Though no offense to those who love it but I wouldn’t drink Diet Coke even if the moon told me to.
A year after the coke advertisement a giant can of Campbell’s soup lands on the White House front lawn and out pops Ralph- a new alien (friend?) who warns us of a much larger threat to come…
Known as the Kardashians here to convert people and potentially destroy our way of life. Ralph vows to help if we just listen to him. But can we really trust a philosophizing oversexed little alien?
Honestly I’m somewhere in the middle on this book- if not for the quest to finally read this arc I might have DNF’ed but certain elements do make sense when I read the author is actually a philosophy instructor. And Ralph does have some interesting things to say about humility and ego.
Plus it explains why the writing style is a problem for the overall book. There are vast bits of dialogue with the alien teaching us… but everything else comes off well, off. Characters aren’t entirely believable in their interactions or responses and absolutely no one is well drawn save perhaps Ralph.
Added to the fact that it all comes off rather sophomoric (the horniness, the slap fights, the hot naked alien Queen) well that was like I can’t really take the philosophy seriously because the rest of it came off kind of silly and like the book was never sure what it was or wanted to be.
Perhaps this is a personal thing but for a book about philosophy and our first contact with alien species the ending was really without heft or meaning to make it worthwhile. But credit where credit is due the idea of Ralph (both the alien and the book) was a unique one- it just didn’t pan out.
*Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with an ARC of the book. It had no bearing on my opinion.