The Made Up Man by Karen Heular is an odd novel I put off reading for a long while. However, I am honestly attempting to read every book I have ever been sent to review, so here goes. Alyson’s life is all but destroyed when her longtime lover leaves her for her best friend. She is also underappreciated at her place of employment and she feels like there is little reason to go on.
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Publisher: Livingston Press
Stars: 2.5 Stars
Reviewer: Michael D. Griffiths
Then she meets up with the Devil who is living in Manhattan under the guise of being a cigar smoking gypsy. Together they decide men have a huge advantage over women in life and if Alyson became a man everything would be much better. So Alyson sells her soul and becomes Bob.
After some awkward adjustments and a difficult learning curve, Bob’s life takes off. He gets two lovers, premotions at work, and begins his plot of revenge against Bob’s former lover and best friend. There are some devilish plot twists and Bob’s heart melts when his former male lover wishes to return to Alyson. However, like most fiction involving the devil archetype, selling your soul for benefit never really works out.
The author is a woman, and I found her interpretation of what it must be like to live as a man interesting. I also found much of the novel to be a bit preachy. The gender roles are unfair. Once Bob was a man, he was as mean and thoughtless as all men are supposed to be. Women are just as bad in the novel and so is the Devil. So there are really no winners or real hope, but I suppose if you are a man your ride through this toxic waste of time toward Hell is a bit better. Then this is topped off with the ‘We will all be happiest when we just be what we were born to be.’
As stated, some of a female’s insight into her understanding of the realm of men was eye opening, but this is not a novel a reader should rush out to grab.