[ Pdf ] How to Succeed in EvilAuthor Patrick E. McLean – Schematicwiringdiagram.co

How to Succeed in Evil is the story of Edwin Windsor, Evil Efficiency Consultant He tries to help supervillains be villainousor at least profitable and sensible about the business side of Evil Along with his very proper and English secretary Agnes and his henchlawyer Topper, he struggles to make the world of superpowered people make sense, but this is very difficult because while Edwin’s advice is excellent, all of his clients are too egomaniacal to listen There is, it must be said, a bit of comedy in this work Edwin struggles with a cast of characters, including Dr Loeb, a trust fund child who desperately wants to be an Evil Genius but has none of the talent; Dr Loeb’s hideous mother, Iphagenia whose evil scheme is to foment a second Southern Rebellion, beginning with Lower Alabama; and the Cromogoldon, a brute with a forehead villainous low and quite possibly the strongest creature on the planet Inevitably, Edwin’s unique clientele lead him into direct conflict with the greatest superhero of them all, Excelsior, and so, the quiet, restrained intellectual is pitted against heroic force

10 thoughts on “How to Succeed in Evil

  1. Samuel Vymes Samuel Vymes says:

    Here's the short version:

    Ever since Austin Powers first deprived a henchmens wife of her husband, we've wondered what life is like on the other side of the Thin Spandex Line. This story is filled with humorous insights into not only how villains think and act, but also about the darker nature of Heroes. The main character is not a bad guy; he is a smart guy. And smart guys tend to be a bit Villainous. If you can get past the various grammatical errors in this book, you'll love the turned-table of Evil versus Good and the various questions it forces us to ask about ourselves in a tongue in cheek manner.

    Here's the long version:

    Honestly, when I started this book I was only going to give it two stars due to the spelling mistakes and subtle character flaws. Some were more blatant than others, but it seemed as though the plot was merely a linear affair designed to get you from A to B.

    However, about halfway through I wanted to give it four stars. I realised that the author really did have a story to tell, and that Edwin's tale was that of reasonable reactions to vastly unreasonable situations. Good vs Evil became Evil vs Good, or at least that's what 'they' want you to think (evil is a subjective term, in my opinion).

    This is one of those rare gems that actually makes you think about yourself, your role in the world, and most importantly OTHER peoples roles in the world. It questions the tropes and cliches of not only the fictional world but of our own reality too. If you've ever read Superman: Red Son, you'll see a very similar notion regarding a hero who does what he 'thinks' is best falling short, and a villain who does great things to nefarious ends. I'm not claiming this to be a work if literary excellence, but the author has managed to say quite a lot with very little.

    Which is why I had to knock it down to three stars. The ending was so perfect in lue of its shaky beginnings that I felt he should have gone back and changed the first half of the book to match the tone of the latter half. The build up was too short and the introspection too quick. I genuinely enjoyed this story but it seemed too unfinished, like the author could have made it better and chose not to.

    All things considered, I recommend this book to anyone with a love of super heroes/villains, but especially to anyone who loves Reason. Be it for the betterment or detriment of mankind, Reason almost always wins.

  2. sj sj says:

    Really, this book only deserves two and a half stars, but I'm rounding up out of generosity. I just finished it, and honestly, I'm not even sure what the hell I just read.

    There were parts of it where I was thoroughly enjoying myself - I enjoyed the math and statistics jokes, the golfing, and even the playing off of your standard Heroes and Villains tropes. I liked Edwin. I liked Topper. I hated Excelsior, which I think was the point the author was trying to get across, that Heroes aren't always everything they're cracked up to be.

    I'm prepared to ignore the numerous typos and misspellings (the constant misspelling of Nehru really ground my gears, though) - this is a self-published novel after all - and I understand that it was originally written episodically for a podiocast. Since that was the story's point of origin, I can kind of understand the disconnect between the chapters, and I'm willing to forgive that.

    So, why the 2.5 stars then? The end. I just...I don't even understand what the point was. The last 10% of the book was just [sigh] lame, really. I can't even come up with anything decent to say because it was so disappointing.

  3. Kat Zantow Kat Zantow says:

    I listened the the audiobook, which was really produced well. The author is great at voices, and great at making some of the voices horrendously annoying. Namely, Topper.

    Here comes the rant:

    I think I would have really enjoyed this book if it weren't for Topper. That shrill, womanizing midget detracted significant style points from the novel. While he was a pretty good foil for Edwin, it just seems cruel to drag a horrendous short guy through the book to annoy the reader. He was a humor fail, and what's worse, he was responsible for killing my suspension of disbelief in this superhero novel.

    Technicalities can be fatal. You see, Topper was described repeatedly as a midget by narrator and multiple characters. Descriptions of his interactions with the environment were really well done to create the effect of a tiny man in a tall man's world. But then he goes into this rant about being 5'3 while the cutoff height for dwarfs is 5'4. This brought me up short. According to the last stats I read, that is pretty close to the average height for females. That annoyed me. And as soon as I got focused on the casual slight to average-height people, I started frowning about the lack of good female characters, and so began the downward spiral.

    I had enjoyed the beginning. I was happy to suspend my disbelief for Excelsior flying around moping. For the charmingly unemotional Edwin to disappear people who walked into his office. I was happy to suspend my disbelief for the antihero slant. The story had some fun parts.

    Alas, my suspension bridge was tenuous, and it broke over a matter of a few inches and feet.

  4. Geoffrey Geoffrey says:

    My initial expectation was this would be somewhat silly if entertaining so it sat on my TBR list for a few months. I was pleasantly surprised when I finally picked up and started reading this. This has a little bit of everything - consultants, Bubbas, Super Villains, Dwarf Lawyers, destroyed buildings, disapproving British secretaries and more than a little unbridled greed ... what more can one ask for? This is a tongue in cheek look at super villains as well as superheroes and their motivation.

    There are few grammatical errors that stood out but overall it's well edited. From that perspective, its definitely on par with a book from any major publishing house.

    I was surprised how much I enjoyed this book. I found it very amusing and I'm looking forward to reading the next one.

  5. Ron Ron says:

    Does even evil undergo existential identity crises in the post-modern, nihilistic age? This is another tongue-in-cheek look at super heroes and super villains and their keepers.

    Needed one more proof reading: …the faded memory of an Airborne logo is almost visible. And …the day Gus will going to die.

    As one who lived in LA (Lower Alabama) for several decades in the 1970s, I can attest he got it right. Except the location. LA is the Florida panhandle west of the Apalachicola River. Locals suggest it is still occupied by a string of Northern aggressor fortifications at NAS Pensacola, Hurlburt Field, and Eglin and Tyndall AFBs. The Yankees are ruinin' the culture.

    Pagination was a problem with the ePub version

    A good read.

  6. Crystal Starr Light Crystal Starr Light says:

    Have you ever wished you could live in an alternate universe where Spiderman regularly sweeps through the skies, where the Fantastic Four team up to fight evil, and where Superman could appear anywhere to rescue people from falling buildings?

    Edwin Windsor lives in such a world, where men like Excelsior (think Superman), Lifto the Magnificent, and more are not uncommon. He in fact runs a business specializing in honing a villain's skills into money making schemes. But life never goes perfectly, and this book is a tale of his many exploits with would-be villains and a man that becomes his ultimate nemesis: Excelsior.

    Now that I've finished this book, I'm finding myself in that awkward position of not knowing exactly what to say about it: what I liked and what I didn't. It's so easy to review books you viscerally hate or enthusiastically enjoy: there is either plenty to nitpick or plenty of parts you love. This book is one of those middle of the road books for me: I enjoyed reading it, but there were parts that I wasn't 100% gung ho about, and trying to explain why I'm not gung ho is going to be a little challenging.

    One thing I recommend doing when listening/reading this is to think it is an episodic novel, more along the lines of “To Kill a Mockingbird” (which was originally printed in parts in a newspaper) than a fully cohesive novel. I didn't exactly go into the book with that mentality, and it took me a while to catch the rhythm.

    I really liked the nods to the laws of physics (“YAY!” squees the inner math/physics nerd), government, and law. While I have no trouble appreciating completely non-sensical science (Come on, I read Star Wars, for crying out loud), I do like a novel that can be enjoyable and scientifically accurate at the same time. But sometimes the nods to physics and math got to be too much, even to me—almost to the point where physics could be considered the Fourth Major Character.

    Also, this book is funny. I would count the style of humor to be along the lines of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Funny, but more so in its reservation and serious language than in being blatantly funny. Another big area of “jokes” is from the superhero/villain aspect of the novel. The author is obviously familiar with superhero tropes, because he makes all sorts of playful jabs and nods to them as well—such as Excelsior fondly recalling making love in a cloud to a woman he rescued back in the “Good 'Ole Days” vs Modern Times. I only have a very small knowledge base of comic book superheroes (and mostly from the sometimes crappy movies that have appeared in recent years), but even I got the jokes.

    The ending is absolutely superb. The showdown between Excelsior and Edwin is great, also the sneak peek at what book 2 might have is also really interesting. Only complaint? In my podiobook, both of these sequences aren't in a chapter, but the “Epilogue”. While the sneak peek might have been appropriate for an Epilogue, the showdown between Excelsior and Edwin definitely should have been a separate chapter and not part of the Epilogue.

    My favorite character was Agnes Plantagenet. She was an absolute riot and definitely should have been in more of the novel. I loved how supportive she was of Edwin, I loved her overly British quirks, and I adored how she would rather bludgeon someone than use a Taser. The only problem I had with her was that it seemed her name changed from “Agnes” to “Edna” rather randomly. Perhaps the author originally chose “Edna” but then changed to “Agnes” to keep readers from being confused with Edwin? Maybe this is only a problem with the podiobook.

    As for the faults...well, let's start with my big one: the focus. I just couldn't figure out, even at the end, what the focus of the novel was. At first, I thought the big focus would be Edwin with crazy Dr. Lobe. But then that event got wrapped up quickly (and really, it has very little significance in what I see as the main story “thread”--Edwin vs. Excelsior). Then, when Edwin got Barry, I thought he would be the focus. But then Barry went on the loose, and there still seemed to be little connection between Edwin and Excelsior's stories (more than with Dr. Lobe, of course, but still it seemed to just “float” in the body of the story). When Mr. Lifto appeared, I thought for sure the novel would be a “Edwin's crazy clients”. But that didn't turn out to be true. The novel also ventured into courtroom drama, made a pitstop as a golfing tournament (like in “Caddyshack”), before ending with the absolutely chilling conclusion that I described above (brilliant, again, brilliant). The unevenness, how it seemed to change from superhero satire to courtroom drama, was rather confusing for me, even considering that this was a episodic novel. I could take some disconnected events (I mean, that's what happened with some of Scout's adventures in “To Kill a Mockingbird”), but this just felt too much.

    Some of the characters were a wee bit overdone. By that, I'm mostly meaning Topper. I would much rather imagine him as a Peter Dinklage character: a hard biting lawyer that just happens to be a midget. Of course, that is personal preference. I just hate seeing Topper somewhat stereotyped as a midget—high-strung, comedic, like one of those toy dogs that doesn't realize it isn't a Great Dane. Not to mention, I had trouble believing he could win any cases. Now, his friendship with Edwin, that was great. I really liked how that was so different from his “other” persona.

    Edwin, I had trouble imaging what he looked like. I didn't even realize he was super tall (obviously Peter Mayhew tall, I am guessing?) until a good way through the book. We got more description about his exquisitely tailored garments than what he looked like. He's a great character, don't get me wrong, but I just like to have a better image of a character.

    Excelsior wasn't really bad, and I liked how he was a pawn in other people's chess board, despite his powers. Gus was a bit much himself: the chain smoking, hard bitten old man got a bit much on the mind. However, again, I liked the relationship between him and Excelsior. Mrs. Reilly was out of this world nuts. I actually liked the idea of her wanting to make the world like Gone with the Wind, but the oiled young boys? Really? That doesn't jive with her desire to bring back the genteel South. Dr. Lobe, with all his insanity, was actually okay with me—until the goat scene. I needed a bath tub of brain bleach to eradicate that from my mind (though, kudos to the author for being as discreet as he was).

    Other than Agnes, there aren't any other females in this novel that aren't either sex kittens or crazy old women. I would have liked to see some women clients of Edwin's or maybe someone other than a woman who wanted to bang Excelsior. At least there were no romantic triangles (one of my recent pet peeves).

    I think the best way to sum up how I felt is this: the beginning and ending were great, but the middle got a bit lost. The author is really talented: his writing is great, his humor is top-notch, his knowledge is impressive. Not to mention, he actually is a really good podiobook narrator (I loved how he did different voices and really put emotion into the dialogue). But I feel that the story got a bit lost in the middle and some of the characters ventured beyond crazy into “Unbelievable” territory. I might not have been interested in a sequel, but with the way this book ended, I can't help but be curious about what happens next.

  7. Annelise Dias Annelise Dias says:

    I love superhero books. I love supervillain books even more.

    This one has a different approach to both, heroes and villains and it responds very good questions one does when reading about super-strong, super-rich and super-anything on this kind of universe.

    It is a delicate work, showing the motivations and the development of a true super villain- and making you like him. The focus of the book is out of the box and the narrative is interesting and envolving, making you want just a little more all the time.

    My only sorrow was the end, wich was great, but made me - again - know what will happen on the next page when there was no next page. But then, there is Hostile Takeover, and I will know.

  8. Blake Nelson Blake Nelson says:

    I really enjoyed this book. Patrick narrates the book himself and does an excellent job - this has been one of the best produced audio books I have ever listened too. I would highly recommend his short work at http://www.theseanachai.com/ as well. It hasn't been updated for a while, but the archive is incredible.

    The only thing I didn't like about this book is that it seemed to enter into extended monologues (generally economic in nature) that, while they did have a point, seemed a bit heavy handed and seemed to take you out of the story.

    The characters were fun (most weren't that developed, but that seemed to work in this story) and the story was interesting.

  9. Adam Shields Adam Shields says:

    Short review: I remember this book from a series of podcasts about 6 or 7 years ago. It never finished so I picked up the book to see what happened. Unfortunately, this feels like a series of podcasts or short stories that are strung together into a novel without being fully integrated. The story concept is great. The result is mediocre.

    My full review on my blog at http://bookwi.se/mclean/

  10. Scott Scott says:

    Nearly brilliant...demi-brilliant. If you dig the anti-hero and have a sense of humor (one that senses wry wit and irony [the real kind, not the Alannis Morisette kind]), this belongs on your to-read list. Not only that, you should read it. I'll be reading the sequel(s) when they finally come out. If I remember. Seriously, I got this for like 99cents at the Kindle store. Just buy it.