These richly drawn, beautifully complex characters, and the relationships they forge with JD, form the novel’s backbone. The first-person prose is acerbic, witty and at times achingly poignant. The novel deftly handles issues of religion, balancing JD’s cutting appraisals of what he perceives as hypocrisy with gentler voices that display the power of spirituality without seeming sanctimonious.
The characters that revolve around JD in the book are fully formed and broad in scope. Which does little to detract from JD himself and the voice of that snarky teenager. While I didn’t have the depression or thoughts of suicide like he did, I was that snarky teenager. At least from what I hear, I was. His voice rings true to me.
Additionally, in reading through the book, the treatment of religion is handled quite philosophically. Possibly not an intentional choice, but I feel as if it were. Even as it is presented, it isn’t heavy handed and JD doesn’t completely buy into it as given. He takes it in and makes his own decisions on it.
The subject matter is dark. Some will say too dark for the teen age group the book is written for. From my perspective it is dark… and exactly the discussion provoking story that needs to happen.
“Brutally raw and brutally funny—Long Live the Suicide King doesn’t pull its punches. A gripping read!”
—Jackie Morse Kessler, author of The Riders of the Apocalypse Series
“In Long Live the Suicide King, Ritchey channels dark comic masters Ashby (Harold & Maude) and Palahniuk (Choke) to spin a grim tale that is in turns morbid, hilarious and altogether original.”
—Daniel Marks, author of Velveteen
Protagonist Jim has a cynical nature and a sarcastic mouth that will appeal to anyone who has ever dealt with depression.
–Romantic Times Book Reviews
Mr. Ritchey inhabits a seventeen-year-old boy so thoroughly that the reader honestly believes JD is, himself, speaking. The voice is on point, the outlook is eerily familiar. Every moment, every choice JD makes is understood intimately…it is genius.
If you are expecting a book called Long Live the Suicide King to be depressing, you’d be very wrong. This book is, in fact, hysterically funny. Overall…a very solid novel that addresses some serious issues in a not so serious tone that makes it both readable and interesting…
–Just A Reader Book Reviews
Being in Jim’s head was thought-provoking and funny and sad and beautiful and I loved the journey.
“Long Live the Suicide King is an engaging, thought-provoking read, particularly worthy of the attention of anyone who has ever engaged in dark suicidal thoughts and/or of anyone who has ever encountered someone who has done so. Hard to put down, Long Live the Suicide King is thoroughly satisfying.”