Review of 'Incompetence'

Incompetence by Rob Grant

One of the famous writers from the BBC “Red Dwarf” Science Fiction comedy show brings us a strange tale. In a future where you cannot be descriminated against by the mere fact of your incompetence Harry Salt is trying to figure out who is – very competently – killing all sorts of people. He goes through a number of very…odd…misadventures due to the fact that incompetence seems to abound (as, it seems, does fate against him). He travels, painfully, through Europe trying to trace the killer down. From a policeman in Rome who has “anger management problems” to a body found in the back of his rental car to a train that simply refuses to pick up any passengers. We never seem to actually figure out who Harry works for and why he is doing this but that minor plot point does not slow the narrative down (though it is alluded to a few times). An obvious tale from the future containing a number of jibes at our own time the novel certainly caused a few chuckles from me though much of the humour is of the physical kind (describing Harry's attempt to get onto the train when it never even slows down to pick him up is quite painful to read). Near the end of the novel there is a bit of a rant against America but other than that this was quite an enjoyable read.

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2005-02-06

Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher: Gollancz

Publication Date: 2003

Other reviewed books by Rob Grant: