Funny yet profound, Louis K. Lowy’s retro sci-fi novel “Die Laughing” is a real zinger. It’s got aliens, mobsters, and comedians – but it’s also got heart. Set in the 1950’s, comedian Sam E. Lakeside finds himself kidnapped by ET and to their royal leader, which just so happens to be a mobster. As a result, he’s all but forced into a plan that will rid the earth of all of its oil for these hungry aliens. Hmm, is a there a social commentary here, I’m not sure.
Ready for revenge after the murder of his manager and best friend, Sam enlists the help of a comic book writer and the mobster’s ex-girlfriend. They find themselves in New York City where Sam is faced with the moral quandary of either obtaining the success he’s always yearned for, or to save the world from obliteration. Tough choice.
It’s a light and fun read, mostly. Like I mentioned before, there are instances of commentary of the current oil crisis and mankind’s selfish tendencies. While it could have easily before preachy, Lowy pulls back and brings humour back into the story, injecting witty one liners and colorful situations that border on farce. It’s charming and enjoyable, and can be easily consumed by any avid reader.