The Book of Ralph by Christopher Steinsvold is a comedy with a message. When a sign “Drink Diet Coke” suddenly, mysteriously appears on the moon, everyone on earth just assumes somehow Coca-Cola had managed to do this. The backlash against Coke is massive, but what no-one understands is the sign was a message from Ralph. Ralph is an alien come to warn earth of an impending invasion by one of the most feared races in the Universe, the Kardashians, from the planet Kardash. Markus, a disgraced “rocket scientist” formerly with NASA is asked by the White House to investigate the mysterious advertisement and report back whether Coke was indeed the miscreant. Confusion reigns, though, when a giant Chicken Soup Can, containing the alien Ralph, lands outside the White House. So begins the adventures of Ralph.
What I particularly liked about The Book of Ralph was the subtle, yet clever humour that Steinsvold used to introduce the reader to much deeper and interesting thoughts. Although, I would have to say that Ralph’s explanations as to the “purpose of being” and the Universe, in general, didn’t actually come as a surprise to me, it made them none the less interesting and thought provoking. The idea that we, as a species, could possibly be alone in this massive universe, is an arrogant and presumptuous notion. I also liked the idea that we were far too primitive and young in evolutionary terms to understand much of what Ralph and his like could tell us. I found Ralph to be totally appealing and, as a potential “alien”, one you would not mind making contact with. Chris Steinsvold has brought us a funny, thoughtful book with some real insight and I can definitely recommend this not only to readers with a SciFi or Philisophical bent, but also to those who just like a good yarn, well told.