Reviewed by Jessa Larsen

Hank Kalabander lives a simple life; he’s married and has a job writing the crime blotter for a small time paper. Life is easy enough until Hank thoughtlessly implies that a drunk who was allegedly assaulted one night was attacked by the legendary Bigfoot. Things could have and would have ended there, but for the misfortune of a tabloid writer ripping off the piece and adding a few more victims to boot. From there, Hank’s life (along with the neighborhood) goes downhill. Bigfoot has gone on a rampage and nobody, least of all Hank, knows when the gruesome murders will end.

The Bigfoot story becomes like a childhood game telephone: one person tells another person who tells another person and so on until it gets far enough down the line that we’re lucky if even an inkling of thought matches the original story. Knipfel spins a tale of superstition and mass hysteria whilst mixing in a dash of humor. Personally I felt the book read like something of Chuck Palahniuk’s (author of Fight Club): a lot of depth and personality to the characters whilst running us thru a maze of riddles. Unlike Palahniuk, I never felt like Knipfel gave us that moment of clarity. That “ah-ha!” moment where we figure out where all this was going.

The Blow-off was fairly amusing (particularly Hank’s twist on crime blotters and his reaction to criticism of any sort) and it was definitely a page turner, but at the end you’re left with an empty feeling of disappointment. I think I solved the riddle, but I don’t believe I’ll ever be too sure. The story wound me round and round, and kept me going and then it was over without a feeling of completeness. I’m still, to this day, trying to decide if I actually cared for this book or not.

Rating: 3.5/5

Jessa lives in Utah with her husband, 2 sons, 2 cats, and 2 dogs. She goes to school full time as an English major with a focus in creative writing. She likes anime and reads books and plays video games in her moments of spare time.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Simon & Schuster. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.