Logic’s ‘Supermarket’ – a friendly reminder that songwriting and novel writing are not the same

Popular rapper Bobby Hall – also known as Logic – recently debuted his first novel, “Supermarket,” which is told from the perspective of 24-year-old aspiring writer, Flynn.

When Flynn’s girlfriend, Lola, dumps him due to his laziness and inability to finish any of his work, he makes it his main goal in life to become a best-selling author and prove her wrong.

So naturally, after a long post-breakup depression, Flynn’s first novel idea gets picked up by a publishing company that decides to give him a $40,000 advance before he even writes one word.

Seriously?

Flynn’s idea for his new novel is to document the life of an everyday supermarket employee. So, he decides to get a job at Muldoon’s, the local grocery store, where he meets Frank – the narcissistic, sexist jerk on whom he decides to base his entire story on.

The first half of the book is entirely dedicated to Flynn’s time at the supermarket where we get to watch him struggle to form one coherent thought about what is actually going on around him. I can’t even tell you what the second half of the book is about without spoiling the whole thing, but it’s just as choppy and ridiculous as the first.

I love Logic, and I was so excited to see him trying something new. I wanted to love this book – I really did.

Unfortunately, this is one of the worst novels I have ever read.

I can’t exaggerate this.

“Supermarket” is told entirely from the perspective of Flynn’s scattered stream of consciousness, and the reader gets to enjoy almost 300 pages of utter nonsense because of this.

While I understand being scatter-brained is one of Flynn’s main character traits, his constant irrelevant tangents take up a huge chunk of the story.

There are literally large sections of every chapter that have absolutely nothing to do with the story itself, and to me it feels like a cheap cop out for a lack of ideas on Hall’s part.

For example, there is a page in the book where Flynn says, “I mean this whole story could have been told in five minutes,” and then proceeds to summarize the entire story again for a whole page.

Also, the punctuation and dialogue in this novel are ridiculous. There are so many quotes where the end of the character’s sentences finish with “!!!” or “?!?!”.

I hate that.

Any writer should be able to convey the tone in which the character is speaking without having to add a whole line of punctuation. It just feels like pointless space filling.

Furthermore, read these lines:

“‘Mia, let’s get out here, the store’s about to close,’ I said.

‘Chill, Flynn, we work here, and I need to find the perfect pomegranate,’ she said.

‘Mia, let’s go, I’m hungry,’ I said, pulling her forward with my arm.

‘Flynn, Jesus, okay’.”

Now, we know in this scene that Flynn and Mia are the only two talking, so why do we need to repeat their names in every single sentence?

That – along with all of the other issues I have mentioned – are simple errors that any editor or publisher should have caught. This brings me to my next point.

The language in this novel is so simple and juvenile, and there were mistakes a 15-year-old probably wouldn’t have made. So why was it published?

If you’re a loyal Gatepost reader, you would have seen a nice article the other week about the importance of separating the art from the artist.

Clearly, that didn’t happen here.

As much as I love Logic and want to encourage his passion for writing, he should have to put in the same amount of work as any other author before his book could be published. Had he not been as famous as he is, I do not think any publisher would have even bothered finishing the manuscript.

It’s clear to me the goal here was to do something unique and get the book published as quickly as possible to debut his album along with it.

The soundtrack was so different from what Logic usually does, and it was incredible. It’s disappointing that the same amount of attention wasn’t put into making sure the novel was at least adequate.

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