Two Little Boys… an apt name really because, seriously this story really only works if you imagine that the two protaganists are 9-year-old boys stuck in the bodies of 30-year-old (ish) men. And even then I’m thinking I’m being too harsh on 9-year-old boys. Maybe 13-year-old boys.
This new edition is a tie in for the film so I’m not going to waste too many words doing a plot recap. Nige kills a backpacker. Nige freaks out and goes to his ex-friend Deano for help. Deano turns out to be creepily, stupidly and implausibly mental. And also insanely jealous of Nige’s new friend, Gav. Hi-jinks and further criminal activities ensue.
The difficulty with black humour is it only works if the humour is really, really funny. Otherwise you’ve just got black chuckles, and they don’t work at all. Two Little Boys has this vein of really creepy “repressed homosexuality” combined with the aforementioned not-really-that-funny mentalness¹ that just makes it more unpleasant than anything else. Neither Nige or Deano are at all likeable characters and while Gav brings some much needed normal intelligence to the party, it’s all too little.
Women characters? Nah.
The Catlins deserves a better class of fiction, surely. Great cover image though!
¹And seriously, I’m not referring to mental illness here. This is a whole ‘nother kind of fictional mentalness that bears no resemblance to reality.