War and Sex

A Raunchy Action Comedy About Homeland Insecurity

Fiction - Literary
270 Pages
Reviewed on 05/07/2024
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

MORTY SHALLMAN was born on the West Coast of Illinois and studied creative writing at the University of Chicago. A novelist, singer, and songwriter, he is the creator of Literary Pop, an artistic genre characterized by unique mash-ups of pop music and literary fiction. His previous novel, The Tyranny of Desire, was the #1 Best-selling Absurdist Novel on Amazon and was hailed as a “comedic masterpiece” by Readers’ Favorite and a “ribald and incisive provocation” by Booklife. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his dog, Primo the Maltese.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Gaius Konstantine for Readers' Favorite

"That's why they call it the fog of war. You don't even know what you don't know or how you might feel when you find out." The same applies to life in general. War And Sex by Morty Shallman is a raunchy and cunning tale about a man spending his entire life without knowing much of anything until reality hits him like a ton of bricks. Rod Solo is that man. He used to be a bomber pilot who later became a drone operator and ultimately descended even further on the social scale to become a hired assassin. Rod is not truly on a mission, just one screwed-up individual in a world that is anything but what it seems. As the body count rises in this delightfully absurd story, Rod may finally figure out that the only person who has to be comfortable with who and what he is all about is Rod himself.

Imagine if Caligula, Machiavelli, and Groucho Marx collaborated to write a novel. That would be one way to describe this book. War and Sex by Morty Shallman is hilarious, satirical, tragic, unexpected, absurd, and dead on the money. The plot is thrilling, convoluted, and far from predictable. Yet behind this farcical but amusing story lurks a theme of existential importance that rips off the mask from the buffoonery we call a political system. Equally preposterous are the characters in the cast list, who could easily be insane asylum escapees. They are, however, fascinating and engaging. While this book is intended for mature audiences and contains some explicit scenes of a sexual nature, War and Sex is an outstanding read that will raise many eyebrows.

Grant Leishman

War and Sex by Morty Shallman is a slightly provocative and satirical look at war, politicians, and morality but perhaps much more importantly, it is just a fun read and one that will not only amuse but make readers think a little. Captain Rod Solo is a naval aviator involved in Operation Iraqi Freedom, flying missions over Iraq off the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt. When Rod’s 18F Super Hornet is shot down during a combat mission, he and his navigator and best friend Willy Green find themselves dodging enemy troops. Hiding out in a deserted house, Rod and Willy discover something both knew but neither had dared to act upon. After escaping from their captors, Rod returns home to his wife Lulu but losing Willy in Iraq is something that will haunt him and he isn’t able to return to naval duties. Working as a remote drone operator for the CIA, Rod discovers he is suffering from an unusual form of PTSD (Post Traumatic Sex Disorder). A tragic mistake whilst operating a drone will send Rod and his coworker, the beautiful Honey, to Pakistan to track down and kill a vicious known terrorist, Mohammed Rafiq. What follows is as absurd as it is believable.

War and Sex is both humorous and sobering. The scenarios around which author Morty Shallman has based this novel are the fodder of the most outlandish and ridiculous conspiracy theories and yet in this author’s talented hands, they seem realistic and believable. This, if for no other reason, is what lifts the story above and beyond other satirical essays on both the war on terrorism and U.S. politics in the first quarter of the twenty-first century. The author pulls no punches with his descriptive language and scenes, nor is any position or person safe from his scathing satire and wit. Even as readers laugh at the absurdity of the characters, a small part of their mind will be thinking: could this be the way it is? The use of characters so demonstrably similar in name and countenance to those in the current political field does not go unnoticed and just serves to remind us that maybe this is satire masquerading as truth. I particularly enjoyed the clever technique of interposing the character with the author. This is the first time I have seen that technique used and it was refreshingly different. Humor and satire are especially hard to write but it is even more difficult to succinctly hit the real dilemmas and paradoxes inherent in today’s political environment the way this book does. War and Sex clearly outlines just what is wrong with our current system – everything! Like a breath of fresh air through the diatribe of politics, I can highly recommend this read.

K.C. Finn

War and Sex is a work of literary fiction penned by author Morty Shallman with political satire and social commentary. It is best suited to adult readers owing to the presence of strong language, sex, and violence throughout. Readers are thrust into a provocative narrative that blends raunchy action comedy with biting political satire. Captain Rod Solo, a CIA drone pilot, grapples with an unusual form of PTSD that affects both his love life and his job of combating terrorism. As Solo navigates the murky waters of post-9/11 America, he confronts the absurdities and contradictions of modern warfare and domestic security, culminating in a darkly satirical exploration of the nation's ‘forever wars’ abroad and its uncivil conflicts at home.

Author Morty Shallman uses a unique narrative style to offer readers a rollercoaster ride of dark humor and biting social commentary. I loved the boldness and authenticity of the storytelling style, which inserts a strong personality into the narrative by force and grabs readers by the collar, never letting go until the final page. Through the lens of Captain Rod Solo's misadventures, Shallman casts a critical eye and a sharp tongue over the absurdities of contemporary American militarism and the complexities of personal trauma. The blend of raucous action and thought-provoking satire creates a narrative that is both entertaining and intellectually stimulating. The plot events are paced to give new twists and observations time to sink in before the next outrageously witty moment. While the subject matter is weighty, Shallman's irreverent attitude keeps the story from becoming too heavy, allowing readers to engage with the themes while still enjoying the ride with its tongue-in-cheek charm and jovial atmosphere. Overall, War and Sex is a bold and audacious work that challenges readers to confront uncomfortable truths about the world we live in, and I would certainly recommend it to fans of accomplished literary fiction everywhere.