I knew there was a chance that I would be disappointed when I decided to purchase Sawfish, given what I've read from the author in the past. However, I really like his ideas, and this sounded like the perfect sort of relaxing monster novel to listen to. It's been a while since I had one of those, so I decided to give Mr. Chesler another chance.
I wish I hadn't.
Sawfish has a great concept. It sets up perfectly to be this rip-roaring, monster-of-the-deep sort of novel. It had the potential to be so-bad-it's-good. Instead it was just bad. The sawfish was cool, don't get me wrong. The problem is that the author spends way too much time on the two main characters. Normally that wouldn't be a problem, except in this case both of the main characters are unlikable idiots!
For fans of The Walking Dead, Raymond is an evil Eugene. At least that's how I pictured him in my head. It didn't help that the narrator had that sort of nasal tone which built the ticked-off nerd image in your head. (The narrator was a perfect choice for this book, actually. I think it made it feel a bit more believable being told in that particular tone.) He wants revenge and then he wants to get back the attention he feels he rightly deserves. He's a toe rag.
But I will give Rick Chesler this: Even though Raymond is a douche, I still found myself rooting for him. When he's going up against the sawfish, I was hoping he'd win. He's not a likable character by any means, but you do find yourself cheering for him occasionally.
Elise is worse than Raymond is, and that's saying something. It's been a while since I disliked a female character as intensely as I disliked her. At least he had intelligence going for him, even if his personality and ego often overruled it. I spent too much of the book actively hoping something gruesome happened to her.
My favorite chapters were the sawfish attacks. The characters in them were often throwaways, but I didn't care. Those were the sections of the novel that I wanted to read more of. Anything so that I wouldn't have to listen to Raymond whine, boast, and plan.
Most of the ending was pretty good. The location and how things got rigged up was unique. The author did a great job of painting the scene in my mind. But the last few pages ruined it for me. My opinion already wasn't high on the book, and then we have something completely unbelievable happen from one of the characters. The twist wasn't believable. Not even a little bit.
Overall, it was a great concept and was voiced by a good narrator. I just didn't care for the actual execution or the characters. Can't recommend it.