I kind of stumbled over this book and bought it because it look interresting. I am very glad i bought it, because i read it in one go.
The first half of the book centers around Edwin and Dr. Loeb. Loeb is a rich guy who want to build a giant laser in space to subdue the earth with it. Then Edwin meets Loebs mother and the situation goes from bad to worse. For the reader it just gets better and better.
The second half of the book brings a new caracter, Barry. He is super strong, super tough and super stupid. With him the story takes a new format and will get more serious, because it is the prelude to the upcomming conflict between Edwin and Excelsior (the greatest hero ever). It is still funy, but in a different way.
I can advertise this book to anyone who like satire and storys out of the viewpoint of the evil guys. I had a realy good time reading it.
"How to Succeed in Evil" is a story about... well, about those caught between the Good Guys and the Bad Guys. Edwin Windsor, a "criminal genius" is not evil as such, but offers his genius to anyone who can pay his prices (which appears to be limited to evil-doers in general so far). The story is primarily humorous, but also has a few sadder moments, including loss of life, limb, and innocence. While reading through Edwin's misadventures i kept thinking, "i'd like to see this made into a film," (in a good way) until i got to the end and thought, "okay, that ending is not something most movie-goers want to leave the theater with." Not that it was bad, but the ending is a bit surprising and somewhat unsettling... without being truly evil. This story, it seems to me, is more about living in the middle-ground between Light and Dark, and the decisions one must make to maintain a balance. Not in a Jedi sort of way (because, let's face it, Jedi are all about Light, not balance!), but in a pragmatic sort of way.
The editing of the book could use a once-over - it's got 5 or 6 spelling mistakes/missing words (and i don't mean in Dr. Loeb's dialog) and one particular two-sentence passage appears to have been the victim of "mark text, drag text, drop text randomly" mangling. The present-tense style takes some getting used to (apparently also for the author, as evidenced by the occasional lapse between mixed tenses), but is nonetheless readable. And i never in my life thought i would see an author have the juevos to insert a BASIC program into his prose and expect the reader to know WTF he's talking about (kudos to Mr. McLean on that).
i see now that Mr. McLean has written at least two more books in this series, and i will be checking those out presently...
The author depicts two opposing characters on their way to profit from evil schemes to subdue the world. The two advise, defend andprotect evil geniuses in a most severe and yet funny way. The book made me laugh and smile several times. However, I have to deduct one star for the amount of mistakes made by the author.