Spandex And The City by Jenny T. Colgan
As the name might suggest, this is not a serious book. If you’re after a story about existential issues presented in grey monotones by an austere matron lamenting her lack of sexual conquest in Victorian times as her fleabag cat takes yet another piss on a threadbare rug, then put your nose up Jane Austin’s arse, this book is not for you.
Spandex And The City is a novel about 26-year-old Holly and her torturous quest to find Mr Right who she pretends not to desire even though she can’t find him and is searching for him desperately having gotten tired of her creaky and worn vibrator which she has named Harold (that last bit is not in the book). Unfortunately for our bold heroine, the only almost-eligible bachelor in the entire city of Centerton wears purple spandex and a cape to work.
Ultimate Man is Centerton’s answer to Superman minus the flying and indestructibility and Fortress of Solitude (unless you count his secret sex room where he presumably masturbates at super-speed). He’s a vigilante with some super-powers determined to reduce the city’s crime rate even as his new nemesis, Frederick Cecil, wreaks havoc in his desire see his criminal master-plan to fruition. It is the war between these two that provides the backdrop for Holly’s increasingly complicated love-life.
Just a thought, when Superman is having sex with Lois Lane, wouldn’t his climax kill her? Seriously, think about it. When Superman ejaculates, his cum would leave his knob at super-speed. It would be like Lois just got shot right up her lady-parts with a high-velocity bullet. Unless the super-stud wears a titanium and diamond-lined condom which would give a whole new meaning to protective sex.
Anyhoo, getting back to the novel, we find that each major incident involving the two warring men seems to take place wherever Holly happens to be, and the poor, horny city hall employee is becoming increasingly muddled as she finds herself perversely attracted to both. Given that some fictional characters are having sex with both vampires and werewolves, perhaps it’s not so surprising that Holly wants a bit of action with both super-good and super-bad. She could be viewed as relatively moderate in her tastes in today’s fictional world.
Spandex And The City is an amusing and light-hearted story that will raise a smile but not much of a laugh. It’s an inoffensive book, unless you have a problem with superheroes shagging civilians in which case Superman, Batman, Spiderman and even the Incredible Hulk must piss you off. Colgan keeps the pace frantic and the dialogue perky. It’s more of a chick-lit kinda book, but does hold some appeal for those who find themselves without ovaries.
There are problems, however. The location is fairly ambiguous for most of the book. It’s not clear as to whether it’s set in the US or UK. It eventually emerges that it is based in the US (where all the other superheroes live; is it the food there perhaps?). As such individuals are a minority group, Rebel Voice believes that they should have no problems with getting federal jobs as quotas have to be met. Why bother with all the world-saving hassle when you could land a cozy sinecure with the Feds? In any event, the author does mislead the reader with certain plot points and it can be a tad annoying. There’s no real excuse for such sloppiness, especially with a talented writer as Jenny T Colgan certainly is.
Holly struggles to deal with her attraction for Ultimate Man and the possible consequences of such a relationship. She also sympathizes with Frederick who is hell-bent on improving the world by removing the internet. In this particular plot thread, the author touches upon the more profound topic of the negative impact upon society that the world wide web has had. There are a number of hard-hitting home truths tackled, re: modern technology and communications and the ways in which they interfere with an ideal life, and Colgan is to be applauded for highlighting them.
All-in-all, Spandex In The City is entertaining but not intensely so. It will help you forget about your social media accounts for a time (but hopefully not Rebel Voice). It also pokes fun at superheroes in funny costumes. It should be enough, therefore, to satisfy most appetites without leaving you too bloated.
Sult scale rating: 6.5 out of 10. Decent read that won’t sicken you but may not make you yearn for a lot more of the same. Expect a sequel.