I haven’t been very discriminating in my reading lately. What that means is that I’m picking books based on the cover or a catchy title without really knowing what it’s about. That’s what happened with The Intern’s Handbook by Shane Kuhn. I liked the cover and I’ve been an intern, so I figured I could relate. Besides, internships are making the news all over Canada right now so I thought this novel might fuel the flames a bit.
What I didn’t realize was that The Intern’s Handbook is really about John Lago’s experience as an assassin posing as an intern in order to get close to his victims. That made the book a little less relate-able, but no less enjoyable (in an effort at full disclosure let it be noted that I did not kill anyone while interning). It also made it a book that I wouldn’t normally pick up.
For me, one of the saving graces of this book was that it was funny. It is written as a handbook for other would-be assassins to help them hone their skills as an intern and as a killer. The scenes of actual physical conflict and hand to hand violence we completely over the top. For me it was a little bit much, but I also think it was a bit of a spoof on the genre (or at least I hope it was). The author, Shane Kuhn, has a background in screen writing and that certainly comes through. The book is action packed and doesn’t slow down aside from some of the drawn out fight scenes.
Who would like this book? The Intern’s Handbook is not a book to be taken too seriously. It would be great on a plane. It is kind of like watching an action movie – it’s over the top, but it passes the time in an enjoyable way. I’m at a loss for know what to compare it to as it is quite far beyond my usual fare, but other have compared it to Get Shorty by Elmore Leonard. I’ve only seen the movie, but would guess that the comparison is apt. And speaking of movies, if you are a film buff there are tons of movie references. He even quotes from Pretty in Pink and that counts as a win in my books.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest and fair review.