Sussanna Daniel’s Sea Creatures is one of the most simultaneously hideous and boring novels that I have ever had the misfortune of reading. With no likable characters and a relentlessly tedious plot, I am baffled by the critical acclaim that this book has consistently garnered. I am here to tell you that the praise is undeserved.
I hated Georgia from page 1. This proved to be quite problematic, as she was the novel’s narrator. Georgia’s husband, Graham, suffers from a debilitating sleep disorder that causes sleep walking, thereby necessitating that he be strapped down at night. Georgia feels that she can empathize completely, as sometimes she relies on a pill to help her sleep. Her crush Charlie lost a daughter. Georgia can relate because her son has a selective speech delay…what the heck does that even mean?! Basically, Georgia escalates each minor inconvenience in her life to the point that she can try and outdo those experiencing legitimate tragedy. She is, in other words, a bitch.
As if that wasn’t enough, Georgia only becomes concerned for her son’s “best interest” when it means potentially scoring a new boyfriend. Once she starts falling for Charlie, Georgia decides that her son should not be exposed to Graham’s episodes. The kid is almost three years old and only now has Graham become a problem? I think not. Georgia is completely unconcerned by Graham’s behavior until she is presented with the prospect of some steamy old-man sex.
*SPOILER ALERT* A hurricane comes along and conveniently kills off Graham shortly after Georgia kicks him out. In spite of a substantially lengthy marriage, Georgia remains nonplussed by her husband’s death. In fact, she continues this display of apathy even AFTER learning that he died while CUFFED T HIS BED IN THE FAMILY HOUSEBOAT AS IT SANK. Seriously? This guy was the father of her child and the only emotion that we see from her is relief to get him out of her hair. This woman clearly has no soul, and yet readers are encouraged to feel for her and her struggle. At least karma has its way with her in the end when she is dumped by Charlie even though they never really started dating in the first place.
I am pretty sure that I stumbled across Sea Creatures on an Amazon list entitled “Best Books of 2014.” This was not one of the best books of 2014. Who chooses these books anyway? I find that I consistently hate the majority of them, and yet for some reason I keep on reading them anyway. Nevertheless, Sea Creatures is a pointless and frustrating journey into the mind of a narcissistic and self-indulgent woman. Daniel excels at generating annoyance, rage, and lethargy in her readers, however the novel fails to create anything worthwhile in terms of its plot, characters, and, well, everything else. Daniel should perhaps consider a career in the janitorial arts. Then again, those elusive Amazon list-makers enjoy her work, so maybe she should keep at it. Either career would enable her to keep pumping out shit.