What is there to say about Bobby Hall? More commonly known by his musical name Logic, he started his career in 2009 and has a string of hit hip-hop records to his name, his music touching on societal issues while spreading messages of love and positivity. In 2018, his track 1-800-273-8255 was nominated at the Grammys for 2018’s Song of the Year, and its accompanying album Everybody was his first to go platinum. And now, he has made history by being the first rapper to have a New York Times bestselling novel with his amazing debut, Supermarket.
The story follows the character of Flynn Montgomery, an amateur writer who finds himself stuck in a depressed slump after a rough breakup. Hoping to bring his life back together, he ends up taking a job at a supermarket to help himself get by. However, as the story goes on, Flynn’s world starts to fall apart as he begins to explore the depths of his own tortured mind.
Flynn is the quintessential unreliable narrator, and the witty but dark observations written in first hand perspective make for a gripping read, leaving the reader guessing all the more as the plot thickens. The only issue with the story as a whole though is that there is a twist that comes up that – without giving away too many spoilers – seems like something audiences might have seen before. However, bearing that in mind, the storytelling is amazing and will keep the reader hooked to the very end.
One refreshing aspect of it is that there are frequent fourth wall breaking moments, where Flynn directly addresses the audience. These moments are often quite humorous, settling the reader in before the story gets darker. It’s a very unique writing style, further developing Flynn’s character and his status as an unreliable narrator.
Additionally, another unique aspect of Supermarket is that Bobby Hall released an album to go with it by the same name. While Bobby is more well known for his hip-hop style of music, the album leans more towards alternative rock and feels more reminiscent of artists like Mac DeMarco and Tame Impala, who are some of Flynn’s favourite artists. It makes for a great accompanying soundtrack, the music reflecting the tone of the book.
Supermarket is an outstanding piece of creative work. The story is portrayed in such a way that no emotion is left untouched and leaves the reader almost in a state of paralysis, unable to put the book down. Hopefully, Bobby Hall won’t rest on his literary laurels and will release more novels in the future, because Supermarket is one of the most enjoyable reads of 2019, flaws and all.
Review copy provided
Witty and compelling, Supermarket is a mind bending and charming literary debut from one of our generation’s most talented musical minds.