We have all seen movies that are so bad, they make you laugh. However, I don’t remember a book like that. Thank God for that because books are a much bigger investment of time. The Contract, though, clearly qualifies in that category. The plot line has gaping holes, the characters bellow and lament at the slightest provocation and the protagonist’s motivations are strangely narcissistic. It is so bad that if you didn’t laugh, you’d have to cry. Juan grows up in a contract-killer family in Columbia (even though the setting is so bleak you have to rely on the writer’s word for it). He decides to take the honest road against the family traditions, turns to crime mid-way as the honest road doesn’t pay, and then repents in the end. The protagonist’s turnaround in the end is completely irrational and un-understandable. The writer takes pride that no research has gone into the book and the reader is left wondering what did he do to deserve something so banal and tasteless.
Recommendation: Of course, not.