TLDR; DOUBLE CROSSING THE BRIDGE is a hilarious fantasy heist that is Ocean’s Eleven meets How I Met Your Mother meets Deadpool starring Jim Henson style trolls.
(Scroll down for the cocktail pairing.)
I have a hard time starting a review of DOUBLE CROSSING THE BRIDGE, seeing as I’ve read this book more times than I can recall. The author Sarah J. Sover is one of my favorite people in the world, and this is her debut novel. Obviously I will struggle with being objective with this review, but I will do my best.
Simply put, this is one of the weirdest, funniest, smartest, most irreverent books I’ve read in a long time. Sover has pitched it as Ocean’s Eleven meets How I Met Your Mother meets Deadpool starring Jim Henson style trolls.
Seriously. It is a heist story with a group of trolls that would prefer to slum it in their local bar, but are driven to a slapstick life of crime when making an honest living proves less than lucrative. There’s drinking, uncomfortable sex, and a whole lot of gruesome snacks, including fat babies, fairy wings, and unicorn steaks. Rated G, this is not.
Still, while at first it seems the ridiculousness is for its own sake, as you read, you’ll discover some bitingly sharp wit, and a searing indictment of modern capitalist culture. Sover skewers good old boy networks in white collar settings, criticizes a culture that undervalues care-giving and teaching professions, and even takes on the dangers of socioeconomic disparities and a system that leaves too many hard-working, intelligent individuals struggling just to survive.
The humor is low-brow, high-brow, witty, satirical, and everything in between. Sover will dance between a joke about Making the Bridge Great Again and popping boils without batting an eye. There are billy goats that rappel off of buildings to sabotage hard-working trolls, hacker trolls that dream of being super heroes, and babies that are picked out of cages for dinner at fancy restaurants like lobsters plucked from a display tank. And when the absurdism gets too much, suddenly there will be an insightful critique of racism or gender disparity in the workplace, and you’re reminded what a smart book this is.
I could wax rhapsodic about the characters (Granu: smart, desperate, traumatized, Kradduk: soft romantic hidden under a misogynistic playboy, Len: creep with delusions of grandeur that somehow you still feel sorry for), or about the classic callbacks of the heist itself (you will find dozens of classic heist books and movies referenced and invoked in the planning and execution). I could go on about the nuanced world-building that creates a completely alien, but incredibly familiar world. I could talk about the descriptions that evoke skin-crawling disgust and breath-releasing familiarity.
All I will say, though, is you need to get this book. It’s one of those truly unique experiences that reminds you even fun, escapist literature can totally stab you in the back and teach you something along the way.
Throughout DOUBLE CROSSING THE BRIDGE, the heist team throws back grog like it's water. Luckily, that's most of what it is. Grog was developed by a British Vice Admiral in the 18th century to help the navy stay hydrated at sea. There are multiple ways you can enjoy the drink, but this recipe both stays true to the origin of the drink and makes it tasty enough to knock back on the regular at Goron's Pub. Drink up and #BewareTheGoats.
1 oz Lime Juice
1 oz brown sugar
1 oz dark rum
4 oz water
Drop the brown sugar in a shaker with 1 oz of the water and lime juice. Stir to dissolve sugar. Add the rum, rest of the water, and ice, and shake. Serve in an old fashioned glass with crushed ice. Garnish with a sliver of lime.