By Julie Kish

Nicholas de Kruyff takes readers on a wild ride in his debut novel, Slippery Times, a science-fiction farce. The author shares his untamed imagination by creating zany characters, mind-bending settings and an action-filled plot. The humour is expertly executed, so the reader should be prepared to laugh out loud while exclaiming, “What? Are you kidding me?”

The novel follows a traditional theme: a reluctant hero embarks on a journey to save the world from the clutches of an evil villain and learns about himself and his place in the world. But everything else about the book is far from traditional. The action shifts back and forth between the real world and the unreal world with swaying, kaleidoscope-like settings described so vividly the reader could develop motion sickness.

The author is a genius at creating characters that are both quirky and endearing. The story is narrated by the lovable protagonist Edmund Lovenight, who embarks on a journey to save the world from the clutches of the evil Baroness Zamora. His friend, a dead cabbie named Reg, stays by his side, even if it means he must be disassembled and shoved in a suitcase to make it through Customs at the Toronto airport. But Reg will magically reassemble himself thanks to the laws of “Necro-quantum mechanics.” The author makes up fictional scientific terms that sound so real I found myself trying to look them up on Google.

To assist in the task of saving the world, the characters include Lovenight’s boss Lady Montique, who is a 124-year-old grumpy resident in a Scarborough retirement home, as well as Noodles the foul-mouthed pug, and three pot-smoking college boys from Michigan, who accidentally stumble into the unreal world.

Slippery Times is a highly entertaining, light-hearted story that sends the reader into the world of imagination and humour. It’s a perfect escape from today’s reality.

However, Slippery Times was written during the height of the “political insanity” south of the border, and readers may find hidden political messages buried in the story. It suffices to say the evil Baroness wants to control all of humanity through the use of complete mind control, and our hero is convinced she could succeed because, “People choose to believe in the most far-fetched, improbable, wackadoodle realities all the time.” Hmmm, sounds like a familiar scenario.

Slippery Times was published in August by Story Well Publishing.