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The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Dare to Defy the Dreary Day-to-Day with Defendi’s “Death by Cliché”

Robert Defendi
An intense photo of Bob Defendi’s face.

Game worlds and possible murder may sound like the third “Spy Kids” movie, but Bob Defendi twists tales far beyond the scope of Disney in his “Death by Cliché” series of which the newest is now on shelves at a bookstore near you.

Why should you read Defendi’s books?

“Well, Death by Cliché is about a game designer named Bob Damico who is shot in the head by a looney fan and ends up in the worst game of all time. Obviously, it’s autobiographical. The names have been changed to protect the cheesy,” he said.

In the first installment of the series, Damico gets shot in the head and has to maneuver the world of a fantasy role-playing game. “Death by Cliché 2: The Wrath of Con” shows readers that Damico has figured out the ways of this game world and is meeting more people as players in the real world continue to play. However, life isn’t easy for him as a madman has managed to get a hold of an artifact that can control the weather and is using it for evil.

Defendi really understands what it means to be a reader. He’s also a great human being and if that’s not incentive enough  you should read them for Defendi’s favorite parts.

“In the books themselves, it depends a lot on presentation. The “Doom” scene from the first book, when read to yourself on the page, is mildly amusing, but in audio form might be the funniest thing I’ve ever written. It was always meant to be a performance piece,” he said. “For text, you read to yourself, I’ve always loved Candace as a character (she’s in book 2), but the character Shimmy Shake (also book 2) I sort of found by accident while discovery-writing a stand-alone vignette. He tested so well with my writer’s group that I decided I had to do more with him.”

What really separates Defendi from other authors is his sense of humor. He and his books are genuinely funny in a way that isn’t forced and the cheesiness of some situations adds a reality to his books that draws the reader into the story.

“A lot of people write humor solely to make people laugh, and that’s fine I suppose, but it ignores why we laugh. We laugh to avoid crying in the face of tragedy. Laughter is how we face a world that tries to break us. Laughter is the nobility of humanity rising above pain and fear and shouting back the darkness and the night,” Defendi said about his works. “So while I try to make my books funny, they are funny because my characters have to be funny to cope with the world around them.”

More than just his serious take on his humor, he understands what the reader may take from his books and is willing to let them interpret the messages and themes of his books however they choose to do so.

“Every book has a theme, and a purpose, and a message. Usually more than one. I hope the reader occasionally gleans one or two from my writing, but what they are will likely be personal to the reader themselves,” he said.

“Death by Cliché 2: The Wrath of Con” came out Oct 10, 2017 and is available on Amazon in audio and eBook formats, and wherever else books are sold. 

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