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This Body's Not Big Enough for Both of Us

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From the New York Times bestselling author of Meddling Kids comes a brilliantly subversive and comic thriller celebrating noir detectives, Die Hard, Fast & Furious, and the worst case of sibling rivalry.

In a dingy office in Fisherman's Wharf, the glass panel in the door bears the names of A. Kimrean and Z. Kimrean. Private Eyes. Behind the door there is only one desk, one chair, one scrawny androgynous P.I. in a tank top and skimpy waistcoat. A.Z., as they are collectively known, are twin brother and sister. He's pure misanthropic logic, she's wild hedonistic creativity. A.Z. have been locked in mortal battle since they were in utero...which is tricky because they, very literally, share one single body. That's right. One body, two pilots. The mystery and absurdity of how Kimrean functions, and how they subvert every plotline, twist, explosion, and gunshot--and confuse every cop, neckless thug, cartel boss, ninja, and femme fatale--in the book is pure Cantero magic.

Someone is murdering the sons of the ruthless drug cartel boss known as the Lyon in the biggest baddest town in California--San Carnal. The notorious A.Z. Kimrean must go to the sin-soaked, palm-tree-lined streets of San Carnal, infiltrate the Lyon's inner circle, and find out who is targeting his heirs, and while they are at it, rescue an undercover cop in too deep, deal with a plucky young stowaway, and stop a major gang war from engulfing California. They'll face every plot device and break every rule Elmore Leonard wrote before they can crack the case, if they don't kill each other (themselves) first.

This Body's Not Big Enough for Both of Us is a mind-blowing, gender-bending, genre-smashing romp through the entire pantheon of action and noir. It is also a bold, tautly crafted novel about family, being weird, and claiming your place in your own crazy story, that can only come from the mind of Edgar Cantero.

248 pages, Kindle Edition

First published July 31, 2018

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About the author

Edgar Cantero

7 books1,449 followers
Updates & more here!

Edgar is a writer and cartoonist from Barcelona. Once a promising author in the local scene with his awarded 2007 debut Dormir amb Winona Ryder, the highbrow Catalan literary tradition soon lost influence on him in favor of Hollywood blockbusters, videogames, and mass-market paperbacks. The punk dystopian thriller Vallvi (2011) was his last book in Catalan before switching to English with a paranormal thriller, The Supernatural Enhancements (2014). Later, the Enid Blyton-meets-Lovecraft horror-comedy mashup Meddling Kids (2017) became a New York Times bestseller. It was followed by the noir spoof This Body's Not Big Enough for Both of Us (2018), starring the chimeric investigator(s) A.Z. Kimrean.

Spanning three languages, Edgar's material ranges from short stories to screenplays and often features women kissing, stuff exploding, and ill-timed jokes.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 430 reviews
Profile Image for karen.
3,988 reviews170k followers
September 19, 2018
Elmore Leonard said it’s bad style to open a novel with the weather. Well, fuck him - it was a blazing red-hot August morning.

edgar cantero is the best kind of bonkers, and this book feels like eating all of your halloween candy at once and then getting caught in a tornado made of LED lights and fidget spinners.

but edgar cantero went to the school of USE ALL THE METAPHORS!, so i should let him handle all the descriptive figurative work:

On the black-lit VIP balcony, Cheshire shark grins and mounds of cocaine like the OCD potato art of Close Encounters victims shone as bright as airstrip lights, marking the way to the center stage over the rail. Kimrean sighted purple caged dancers, mud wrestlers, tattooed devils, G-stringed Atlases erected like Pillars of Hercules out of a liquid crowd waving in worship of ancient twerk masters summoning cellulite tsunamis.

right? and the whole thing is like that - a neon wonderland of high-energy meta-noir starring a.z. kimrean; the more-bang-for-your-buck PI: one androgynous body, two people moving it about, not always harmoniously, nor even in the body's best interest; the ultimate “it’s complicated” relationship.

adrian and zooey share a body, but disagree about how to use it:

”You don’t know what it is. To have a twin. Someone who is always there, in the same room. In the same underpants. Pulling your body, always in the wrong direction… We’ve been fighting since before we could speak. No wonder our birth mother gave up on us; can you picture what we were like as toddlers? When Zooey isn’t making a scene in a public place, it’s because we didn’t agree on going to the place in question. I want to go to the library - Zooey wants to go to the beach. I’ve got a test tomorrow - Zooey is sniffing glue. I’m taking the test - ooh, time to masturbate. That’s every day in my life. So, in answer to your question, ‘Why do you hate her?’…let us just say that communal living takes a toll.”

but when there’s a crime to investigate, two heads are better than one figurative heads in one physical head are better than one, and if those heads are always battling for control of the body, well, then it’s better and funnier.

the book is also better experienced than described. you will discover the answer to the philosophical question What if two Romanian whorehouse owners had a son who wanted to be an office decorator?, you will learn the term for a group of college jocks (it is “an arrogance.” An arrogance of college jocks) and you will be treated to big characters, big plot, big laughter.

In the next ten seconds, more things happened than in ten hours' worth of Danish cinema. 

no exaggeration.

plus, he drawed a chicken roadrunner in mine:

i have been twitter-corrected by the author:

It's not a chicken, it's a ROADRUNNER!

i am bad at birds.




come to my blog!
Profile Image for Tim.
477 reviews662 followers
August 21, 2018
Okay, I think I’m officially calling it. Cantero is taking the throne that Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams and P. G. Wodehouse once sat upon, as king of the current generation comedic writers. He’s published two books back to back that are both wonderful comedic novels. His previous book Meddling Kids was easily my favorite book from 2017, and he’s back again with a strong contender this year.

In San Francisco there’s a dingy little office that bears the names of A. Kimrean and Z. Kimrean. Private Eyes. Though anyone who walks into the office will be surprised to see one very androgynous person sitting there, and nowhere near enough space for a second detective. You see Adrian and Zooey Kimrean are brother and sister, they just happen to share the same body. It’s not a multiple personality disorder; they are twins that just never quite formed up a second body. Adrian controls the left side and is thus all logic little emotion; Zooey controls the right and is the creativity behind their actions (though also easily distracted). Together they make an excellent team, when they aren’t trying to figure out a way to push the other one out of consciousness so that only one can be in control… but what siblings don’t have their little squabbles?

The book is rather hilarious and Cantero may have some of the best descriptions I’ve ever read. It seriously had me laughing from the opening paragraph. Cantero creates metaphors so brilliant that I am in awe of him, and wonder how the hell no one has ever used them before. He plays his jokes in such a rapid-fire concession that he should be missing constantly, and yet nearly every page brought a smile to my face.

That’s not to say that the book is just for laughs. Cantero puts just the right amount of seriousness to the siblings’ relationship, and when he plays it off for drama he does it successfully every time. In fact, my favorite quote comes from a scene where we get a tangent from Adrian about his sister. Without spoiling the scene, or the aftermath, I can quote the paragraph that follows it as it gives the perfect feel for the emotions behind the scene.

"Rain continued its gentle drumroll on the rooftops outside. On the chessboard, the black and white figures glared hatefully at one another, eternally, for reasons long forgotten."

There’s no laughs in this scene. It’s quite and somber… and rather beautiful. That is such a hard thing for an author to pull of in a book that is so consistently silly and that alone earns praise.

The case they're investingating is pretty enjoyable. It plays the noir cliches off well and will provide you with a wonderful deconstruction of the tropes. The conclusion of the case was also extremely well done, and I applaude the author for coming up with a serious conclusion while never losing the sense of humor.

In closing: this one isn’t quite as good as Meddling Kids (where I would certainly suggest you start if you are interested in Cantero's work). It’s enjoyable, and very funny, but doesn’t quite hit the high bar set by the author’s previous work. This is still a very strong novel and I would love to see the return of A. Z. Kimrean. A solid 4/5.
Profile Image for Tom Quinn.
552 reviews167 followers
April 14, 2021
This shouldn't work. None of this should work. Cantero is a damn magician for pulling this off. It's absolute insanity, manic anarchy, wild self-interrupting confusion that nonetheless coheres into a funny, fast, frantic P.I.-versus-crime-syndicate caper so far out there it's unlike anything else.

3.5 stars. Drenched in acerbic wit, a mix of twee pop culture and genuine thrills, this is a silly send-up of noir mysteries that will leave fans of the genre howling for more.
Profile Image for Scott.
1,800 reviews132 followers
June 12, 2021
Marlow simply leaned forward and asked "Has anyone told you before that you are weird 'AF'?" -- FBI agent Marlow

"Many times. Often right after I bring a crucial clue to their attention or I save their life." -- private eye A.Z. Kimrean

It would be nice to say that I read Cantero's This Body's Not Big Enough for Both of Us in three days because it was just so enjoyable. However, it was really that I wanted to get done with it so I could move on to a more interesting book. It features an androgynous Sherlockian-type private eye in San Francisco with the unique medical-condition twist that they are a brother (Adrian) and sister (Zooey) inhabiting the same physical body but with wildly opposing personalities. It doesn't help the plot that said character is continually the smartest and/or luckiest person in any room, because then the suspense remains stuck at a certain low level and is unable to increase. The villain 'reveal' and backstory strained credibility even with the book's continual offbeat tone, and the eleven year-old supporting character Ursula (the most interesting, or even relatable, person in the storyline) was placed in deadly situations where it stopped being funny and became alarming, even in the fictional setting. Sure, the book had a handful of good moments where it humorously broke the fourth wall to wink at the reading audience, but otherwise it was too unusual or definitely an acquired taste.
Profile Image for Howard.
1,288 reviews80 followers
September 26, 2022
4.5 Stars for This Body’s Not Big Enough For the Both of Us (audiobook) by Edgar Cantero read by January LaVoy.

This is the wittiest book I’ve read all year. It has a great mix of crazy characters and fun writing. And there was even a plot in there too. I’m sure this isn’t for everybody but I sure enjoyed it. I really recommend the audiobook for this one. January LaVoy did a wonderful job with the narration.
Profile Image for Josh.
1,649 reviews156 followers
May 22, 2019
Inventive and interesting, the creation that is the collective character known as A.Z. Kimrean; twins who share the same body but look and function (at least on the outside) as one person, is clever, witty, and adds a little dynamite to what is a devilish noir.

A stock standard private eye novel, this is not. It's like the combined creative efforts behind Micky Spillane's Hammer books, Duane Swierczynski's Secret Dead Men, and Marc Lecard's Vinnie's Head met up in a bar, got drunk and decided to turn noir naughty and nice and all things sour and spice...um, yeah, you could say this book leaves a lasting impression...

I love when books grab you by the proverbial from the get-go and that's exactly how This Body's Not Big Enough for Both of Us opens up - with a perfectly executed, slightly disorienting roller-coaster of manic storytelling that left me light headed but craving more like a crack addict.

Sure, the broader PI plot formula is a tried and tested one but it succeeds in its simplicity, allowing for the characteristics and complexities of A.Z. Kimrean to shine.

My rating; 5/5 stars. This was my first introduction to author Edgar Cantero, now to check out Meddling Kids.
Profile Image for Rachel (TheShadesofOrange).
2,215 reviews3,217 followers
January 2, 2020
3.5 Stars
Smart, funny and incredibly well written, this was a darkly comical noir thriller. With the two private investigators existing in the same body, the author played with themes of both gender and identity. Unlike so many classic noir stories, this one avoided the sexism of the femme fatale and instead offered a story that felt fresh.

I would recommend this unique PI detective story to fans of the classic genre looking to read about some highly intelligent and entertaining detectives with excellent deduction skills

I received a copy from DoubleDay.
Profile Image for Montzalee Wittmann.
4,605 reviews2,309 followers
February 26, 2019
This Body's Not Big Enough For The Both of Us by Edgar Cantero and narrated by January LaVoy is a snarky, witty, clever, and funny book! The opening prologue had me laughing but confused at first. Was this person mentally ill or what? Then as the book started it's explained that they are brother and sister joined together sharing a body and brain! It is hilarious! They are Private Investigators where the brother is calm natured and a genius Sherlock Holmes type. The sister is wild, sex crazed, and no control or filter! No one wants her on the cases but they all want the brother! This is one of these cases and I giggled all the way through it! It is funny, inappropriate at times that makes it even funnier, very witty, and full of action! Great characters and plot! I want more of this series! I hope he writes more of these PI siblings!
The narration was so good! It's not easy to do comedy and make it funny but she did! I think I enjoyed it more by hearing it from this narrator than if I had just read it myself.
Profile Image for Bam cooks the books ;-).
1,914 reviews248 followers
November 6, 2018
*3.5 stars rounded up. Doubleday's Keep Turning Pages Group Read for November, 2018. Many thanks to the publisher and group leader Hannah for providing me with a copy of the book in the monthly giveaway. (The little notebook and pen it came with are perfect for my own investigations--or just notes-to-self!)

The first twenty-some pages of this book almost lost me, I have to admit. The premise just seemed way too goofy! The main character, Kimrean, is actually two people in one body: Adrian and Zooey. Not split personalities, but actual siblings sharing a body. Their doctor, who has also been a mother figure to them, calls them chimeric twins. Their personalities are polar opposites with Adrain being unemotional and logical, while Zooey is wild, carefree and a bit of a nymphomaniac. And in case you were wondering, Kimrean is a hermaphrodite.

When they are not locked up in the psychiatric ward, they are also private detectives, and in this case SFPD hires them to stop a gang war and get an undercover agent out safely. Things go smoothly if Adrian is in charge of their body but when Zooey takes over, watch out! You don't want to be in the car when she's driving!

Soon bodies are piling up--someone seems to be killing off the gangster's sons. Which rival gang is responsible? Who is best equipped to solve these crimes: the brilliant and logical Sherlock Holmes-type detective or his emotional, intuitive opposite, who is a loose cannon?

In the end, I found this 'noir satire' to be quite fun. Goofy, yes, but rather enjoyable. It scores a point or two for being so wildly inventive and imaginative, certainly. I can definitely see a movie made from this story!
Profile Image for Jamie Stewart.
Author 11 books166 followers
June 22, 2019
Engaging from the first sentence and entertaining throughout This Body Is Not Big Enough For Both Of Us is a zany twist on P.I detective story. Yet, it goes beyond that and breaks refreshing new ground with its central character A Z Kimrean, two people in one body. It’s laugh out funny to the point where it feels like a lost Terry Pratchett novel, which is the highest praise I can give any story.
Profile Image for Leo.
4,390 reviews411 followers
December 18, 2021
I have a soft spot for crime/thriller/detective novels with a twist and this caught my eye and I just had to listen to it. One body, two minds. A. Kimrean and Z. Kimrean is brother and sister and you can definitely say they are close. Very different personalitys but only one body. The story was exciting, interesting and was very easily to listen to. Had a great plot besides the shared body detectives and interesting other characters.
1 review1 follower
October 2, 2018
I really wanted to like this book. I thought the premise - though somewhat gimmicky - could still be fun and maybe explore a lot of interesting themes/concepts within the context of a wacky, modern noir. What I got instead was the first time a book annoyed me to the point that I'm finally dusting off my goodreads account from middle school to write my first ever review. (spoilers at the end)

To Cantero's credit, I do think that he has potential as an author. Some of his imagery (flowery at times but I'm fine with that) has a very vivid, tactile sense to it and that's great. The narrative itself was compelling, Cantero has an engaging voice, and Adrian & Zooey had an interesting enough dynamic that allowed for some genuine comedic moments. But that's about all the good stuff I have to say.

My first big problem was the references. Every other page, a pop culture reference appears. I wouldn't mind them every now and then - sometimes I get a little thrill seeing something I know written on the page, but this was way too much. Cantero mainly uses them to describe things visually, citing very specific aesthetics in order to convey the image he wants, such as a "Hitchcock-lit stairwell" and "like a Mike Mignola frame" or a character sitting in strips of shadow that render him "like a Tim Burton prop." The book is full of references like this, sometimes back-to-back, and not even just the ones he uses as analogies. References are dropped in as dialogue, or used as actions - "He Nemoed his way back into a reef of dancing people." A character, during a fight scene, wipes some blood from their face and mutters, "Mouthbreather." Sick Stranger Things reference, my dude! But the thing that nearly drove me to stop reading altogether was the d*mn Vine reference. I can't believe I had to read, with my own two eyes, the main character singing the "two bros in a hot tub" vine altered to fit their current situation. This was legitimately so jarring to me that I had to put the book down. These references halt the narrative in its tracks and take you completely out of the story, but I guess you have to be #relatable to get that millennial demographic.

My other big problem with this book was the reveal of the big bad at the end, and the really really bad "queer representation" in this book. (spoilers coming)

I really hoped that Cantero would use the situation of Adrian and Zooey being two differently gendered people sharing one body to explore gender identity and sexuality. And there are parts where it feels like he wanted to? And just didn't do it well, because he doesn't know enough about it. The beginning of the book is filled with fake #woke moments, like a grumpy police chief who doesn't get that "PC bullshit" (really a line in the book) learning how to properly gender the main character(s). This is a nod in the right direction, but it's not enough, especially because of the way that Cantero actually treats queer characters in the book. Cantero made Zooey one of three explicitly queer characters in the book and she's a lusty, lewd, druggie nymphomaniac. I can't say this is really a great image considering the years of stigma that queer people are depraved sexual deviants. He also has a younger character, 11-year-old Ursula, who has a puppy crush on Zooey that gets weird - not that Zooey ever does anything bad, but Adrian accuses Zooey of egging on the crush and it made me super uncomfortable. Not to mention that this is bringing up another stigma of queer people being sexual predators. (On the topic of Ursula, Cantero just can't write kids I guess. Ursula talks like a 30 year old and this makes her crush all the more weird). I can kinda see where Cantero was aiming with the innocence of young love and like, trying to highlight the struggle of a very young and confused lesbian but I personally thought it was mishandled.

And to top it all off, there's the main villain herself. Yeah, it's a her, because Cantero made the psychotic, relentless killer a lesbian woman of color. So basically, Cantero made almost every female character in his book except one a lesbian, and all of them are really poorly written. One of them is a straight up murderer. And he tries to justify the violence with like "oh, she's completely right brain just like Zooey, she's all passion and no reason and she's protecting her girlfriend" but like. Come on. Using someone's wlw relationship as a motive for murder is horrible representation and I really hope Cantero doesn't think he's progressive for including this.

Anyway, sorry the review was so long, but there weren't many on here talking about this stuff since the book is newish and I kind of want to warn people before they get as annoyed as I did. I'm leaving soon to return this book and hopefully get something a little better to spend my time on.
532 reviews9 followers
June 24, 2018
Disclosure: Thanks for the free book @doubledaybooks.

I am a fan of noir, so when this book opened with a reference to Elmore Leonard, I expected that a fun read was ahead. And the idea that the private eye was two persons inhabiting one body would have to be unique entertainment for sure. But then the author buried the story in what seems like every cliche he could think of, and then added to the mix a senseless overabundance of vulgarity, thus spoiling what could have been amusing otherwise. All this jumble of cliche and smut made the story very confusing and tedious.

As for rating stars, I start by giving all five because I am so impressed with the talent and effort that goes into making a book. If there is something about a book that I really do not like or find terribly offensive, then I will start to take stars away. After all, I am a book lover, not a critic. I am sad to say that this book ended up with no stars from me. Well, I tried.
Profile Image for Ryan Hixson.
520 reviews11 followers
February 3, 2019
This Body's Not Big Enough for Both of Us is really fun if you give in to the ridiculous concept of two siblings (a brother and a sister) occupying the same body, it spins the wise cracking detective genre on it's head as the brother Adrian is the serious detective and his sister Zooey is the wise cracking one who's the hard drinker. The novel really reminded me of a dirtier version of a Christopher Moore book. What works is this satirical novel has a pretty good mystery behind it that will keep you guessing. The Narrator plays with a lot of cliches of the genre as well as evidenced in the opening line.

"Elmore Leonard said it’s bad style to open a novel with the weather. Well, fuck him - it was a blazing red-hot August morning."

The Plot: Adrian and Zooey Kimrean having just been arrested get lucky as a former arresting officer has now gone under cover for a Cartel needs a skilled private investigator to investigate the murder of one of the Cartel boss's son to stop a potential gang war as the Japanese gang who the cartel were working with is having issues. Adrian and Zooey investigate and determine the Japanese are not involved, they run into problems as the youngest 11 year old daughter Ursula can tell the difference between Adrian and Zooey talking, really responds to Zooey and stows away as she meets Danny the undercover cop and Ursula finds out. Ursula is the black sheep in her family the only girl 2o years younger than her brothers, she kind of okay with her family going down but uses it at leverage to hang out with Zooey much to Adrian's dismay who doesn't want the distraction. Everything changes when the second brother is assassinated and Adrian can't figure out who is killing the family but now believes all the cartel siblings are now in danger.

What I Liked: The mystery despite all the satirical nature is still really strong, and will keep you guessing. The humor and making fun of the the noir cliches, there's a great inner monologue about how the character of Adrian hates inner monologues and how they're just a transition device that author's use to make there page count and get between scenes, it's great and is purposely a page and a half rant which put a smile on my face the whole time. There's also a flashback with in a flashback that the character get's called out for. The killer has an amazing monologue that I really enjoyed. The arguing and fighting with it's self scenes are only used sparingly which I thought was perfect. The two big fight scenes are really easy to picture and follow the action.

What I Disliked: This novel is very smart humored but every once in a while it dips into vulgarity for no reason at all to say something shocking, which doesn't always work. I did have a hard time imagine exactly what Adrian and Zooey looked like, and if the voiced changed at all.

Recommendations: If you read a lot of detective especially noir, you'll have fun as it calls out a lot of cliches of the genre in fun creative ways. If you like satire like Christopher Moore novels or Mel Brooks films then you'll like this piece, the only thing I will warn you is that it is vulgar, and this will turn some people off. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars, it was almost a 5 star book for me, I've been wanting to read the authors novel called Meddling Kids which I will definitely make it higher on my TBR.

May 31, 2018
A comedic noir with snappy lines, pop culture references, and the obligatory femme fatale (sort of), This Body's Not Big Enough for Both of Us crosses genres with ease.
Adrian and Zooey Kimrean (known together as A.Z.) are twin brother and sister Private Eyes sharing an office in Fisherman's Wharf ...and also a body. As chimeric twins (the only known occurrence in the world), they are two separate people living in the same body. What some people mistake for schizophrenia is really sibling rivalry. Adrian is the intellectual/calculating twin with a sharp eye for observation and Zooey is the free-spirited/passionate twin with a sharp eye for trouble (especially causing it).
When the sons of the San Carnal drug cartel boss are murdered one by one, A.Z. speed into town to solve the case before a gang war spills out on the streets. Looking for clues, they also manage to rescue an undercover cop and a sassy 11-year-old girl along the way, while dodging bullets and fighting ninjas (and each other).
A unique gender and genre bending novel with wildly entertaining characters!
Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Joe.
Author 58 books33 followers
February 18, 2021

Ursula’s appearance gets this uneven novel going. And then it becomes even and quite good, though of course also quite silly.
38 reviews
June 1, 2020

There are many reasons that this novel, sucks, which I will get into. But the one the makes it truly trash is the blatant homophobia and biphobia. Ignoring the fact that both the queer characters are women and utterly insane, the author has a subtextual bias against queer people. It is horrifically frustrating to read something written about wlw by a straight white male who evidently has never met a queer person in his life. Zooey is bi and the killer (I can't even remember her name she's that forgettable) is a lesbian. Both of these characters are nothing more than shallow and, frankly, disturbing cliches about what a straight man thinks queer women are supposed to be.
I'm just going to put it out there: Zooey is a paedophile. And this is completely glossed over, to the point I thought I was imagining it, but no, "she can't tell the difference" between genders or AGES. What. The. Fuck. The suggestion that bi people are just so horny and deviant that they'll fuck anything that moves is a false and harmful stereotype that the author has no problem perpetuating and taking it disgustingly far. So, not only is Zooey a paedophile, but she also preys on an eleven-year-old girl (who falls under the 'mature for her age' excuse that predators love to use) and their relationship is described multiple times as 'being in love'. Excuse me, I just need to barf a little. And the other characters don't seem to have much of a problem accepting that Zooey is like this, letting her be around the child, whatever else. I was highly disturbed. Zooey is an unlikable, erratic, sexual predator.
The killer, again can't remember her name... did she have one? Oh, wait! It's Juno. That's it. Anyway, Juno is a lesbian (in a lesbian relationship anyway) so naturally, the author must typecast her as obsessive, single-minded, abused, and just plain fucking crazy. This bitch kills an entire family because her girlfriend got shot? It wasn't even a fatal shot. I just found this so tiresome and implausible. She was one-dimensional, and that dimension was 'crazy intense lesbian'. Pass.

Now, the book's lesser offences. Firstly, the author tries to be ~different~ by making the book like a description of a movie...? I don't really know how to describe what he's doing. In any case, it's awkward and doesn't make a lot of sense and just had me thinking, 'if you want this to be a movie, then write a damn screenplay'. Like, there's a reason no one has done this style of book before. It sucks. To add insult to injury, he's not even consistent with the movie thing. Sometimes it's full on stage directions or whatever, then the next chapter it's barely there.

Secondly, the author's attempts to be meta and self-aware about these kinds of books/movies, stereotypical characters and portrayals of women made me roll my eyes every time. Not only is he trying way too hard, but also does some of what's shit about these books and movies, has stereotypical characters, and dire portrayals of women. Maybe he's so self-aware and so meta that he's gone full circle and now has no self-awareness. Unlikely.

Lastly, and this might be just a personal preference, but he beats us over the head with pop culture references. I always hate pop culture references in books mainly because it ages them really quickly. These kinds of references are only really helpful if the book is set in the past, so you intentionally want to age it. This book is not. It was written in the present a mere two years and contains a reference to Vine, the social media platform that was... already dead two years ago. Jesus Christ. I just found the references annoying, unnecessary and serving to break any immersion I had in the story.

I was going to give this two stars, because the author actually does write well sometimes, but I changed my mind because putting all my thoughts into words about how horrid the book is made me angry.
Profile Image for Kat Royale.
13 reviews
July 16, 2018
If Marvel anti-hero, Deadpool, wrote a noir, Dick Tracy-esk adventure in modern day L.A., “This Body Isn’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us” would be it, featuring a detective who’s single body is shared by two siblings, Adrien and Zooey Kimrean, whom have been fighting for dominance since before they were born. Because of their constant rivalry, both sister and brother have been pushing themselves to be the best they can be in their particular fields of expertise, hardening Adrien into a sharp, observant, logical, analytical genius and Zooey into an endlessly creative wildcard who’s addicted to life.

It’s a promising concept with plenty of sequel material, but, as the first book to ever feature these characters, it’s a little rocky in places and the first rock is a big one. The writing style.

The most glaring example of what I mean sits right at the beginning of the book. Just before chapter one, there’s an opening (that’s unlabeled, so let’s just call it the prologue) that’s a great, big ball of “huh?”. Our introduction to our main character, who definitely merits some explanation, is told though some messy, jarring shifts in perspective. It’s meant to be a funny interrogation scene with many winks to the audience, but that’s a rough way to introduce the reader to new material. Maybe it would have made for an interesting movie opening, but as the introduction of this book, it’s a blind, dizzying stumble into an uncertain world. Zooey’s ‘oh-so-random’ humor falls flat and I entered chapter one having no idea what was going on since everything in the prologue has no bearing in the rest of the book.

If you can get used to the odd narrative flow, the book has a fairly interesting plotline involving assassination, gang wars and undercover cops. The Kimreans make for a unique duo and, at their best, the pair are written well enough to be put alongside any classic love/hate buddy cop team. However, there are places where the story just doesn’t work. Most of the time, the success of Adrien’s deductive reasoning and Zooey’s crackpot, spontaneous schemes are too contrived and rely heavily on Deus Ex Machina. Honestly, the entire investigative side of this “detective” novel is downplayed drastically for the sake of comedy, so don’t go into this expecting Agatha Christie. Without spoilers, all I can say is that the most important clues needed to solve this mystery appear AFTER the final confrontation. There is no conceivable way to predict the twist at the end and if anyone tells me they saw it coming, I’m going to have to call BS.

That said, I did enjoy the ride. It’s less of a deep, psychological, mystery/thriller and more a fun, crude, romp with a band of likable characters and, oh yeah, there happens to be a murder. Set your expectations to ‘fun’ and you’ll like TBIBEFTBOU just fine. Three stars. Worth the read. If there are sequels featuring the Kimreans, I’d happily give them a try.
Profile Image for Jill Elizabeth.
1,553 reviews37 followers
May 30, 2023
UPDATE MAY 2023 - The audio book is every bit as amazing as the print!! January LaVoy is PHENOMENAL and totally captures the essence - and essential differences - between A and Z in a way that adds a depth to the story that I didn't even realize was missing!!


Seriously, he has the most incredible imagination. And he pairs that with an impeccable writing style/sense of pacing and comedy AND a seemingly endless (and absolutely brilliant) collection of literary and pop-culture allusions that he sprinkles throughout his stories like marshmallows in Lucky Charms. Honestly, you couldn't ask for more!

This book brings us the most phenomenally tragically hip protagonist in recent times - A.Z. Kimrean is a marvelous creation and Cantero manages the duality/singularity with aplomb and panache (of course). The tale is wild and unusual and fascinating - as much so as Adrian and Zooey themselves - and I flew through it, skimming pages on my kindle so fast I'm surprised I still have fingerprints.

I know this is a tragically short review for such a phenomenal book, but that's because I don't even know where to begin in explaining it without spoilers and I wouldn't want to ruin an ounce of this read. You need to discover Cantero's stories on your own, line by line - he is a master storyteller with a genius for imagery and wordplay that is phenomenal.

If you like your stories original, perfectly paced, and with a spot-on sense of the darkly comic absurdity of life, you can do no better than Edgar Cantero.

My review copy was provided by NetGalley.
23 reviews
January 23, 2019
I quite liked the book for most of it, but near the end it took a turn that left me fairly livid. Spoilers

I find it infuriating that Zooey inflicts physical harm on Adrian, shoving his hand into a toaster and beating him until he ODs on a drug to get her to go to sleep and then gets to be the hero and gets the praise and Adrian gets brain damage and an off handed slap from another character that Zooey will always have more fans.

Adrian was right, a prepubescent with a crush shouldn't be around a nympomaniac drug addict and the novel seems to want to say that because he was a jerk in conveying this that he is deserving of physical abuse and permanent damage while Zooey gets more freedom.

I finished the novel at this point assuming that just like Adrian got a scene giving him his comeuppance for being unable to empathize Zooey would get one for being pure id but it was not coming.
Profile Image for Stephen.
576 reviews
February 2, 2020
This book takes a running leap into it's humor, forcing the reader it grab hold of the humor that's being shoved in their face. If the humor without a doubt works for you, great.

But if not, or if you need some warm up to get into the mood of the book, then sorry.

And the opening was just too much for me. The stylistic weirdness of this opening actually settles down later on into a much less in your face style. I might have enjoyed this if it built up instead of starting in overdrive and slamming on the breaks to become an almost normal book (at least compared to the opening), instead this book was fighting an uphill battle after leaving me grumpy. (Though I'm not sure a better disposed me would have been happy with main characters' misogyny and other personality issue--they are supposed to be humorous, so there's a chance I could have rolled with it, but maybe not).
Profile Image for Allen Adams.
517 reviews31 followers
August 20, 2018

Detective fiction is riddled with genre clichés and tropes, but there are also plenty of ways to subvert the expectations that come from noir.

For instance, what if instead of a single two-fisted, whiskey-swilling, Spade-esque detective, you had two? And what if they were brother and sister? What if they were twins? And what if they were twins who inhabited the same body? Not conjoined twins, mind you – one body, two people.

Well, then you’d have A.Z. Kimrean, the protagonist(s) of Edgar Cantero’s “This Body’s Not Big Enough for Both of Us.” The book is a weird, occasionally hallucinatory trip down a pop culture rabbit hole; it’s built on a foundation of detective fiction, but really, anything goes. Rapid-fire references and allusions abound; the dialogue crackles with anarchic wit. It’s a comic thriller unlike any you’ve ever read starring a character unlike any you’ve ever experienced.

The office door has two names on it: A. Kimrean and Z. Kimrean, Private Eyes. And there are two detectives, a brother and a sister. Adrian is the brother, logical and aloof. Zooey is the sister, creative and empathetic. But that’s where the twos … stop. There’s only one desk and one chair. And when someone comes in looking for help, they’re looking at just one body.

But it’s two people.

Adrian and Zooey aren’t conjoined twins; there’s just one body. And they aren’t a fractured personality; DNA evidence proves that they are two distinct people. And together, they are maybe the best private detectives that the West Coast has to offer. But when they’re enlisted to help solve a case involving drug kingpins in California’s dirtiest city, they might be in over their heads.

Victor Lyon – known on the streets simply as “the Lyon” – leads one of the country’s largest drug cartels. He lives in the hedonistic and sin-rich (and delightfully named) city of San Carnal. And someone is targeting his heirs. Someone is ruthlessly dispatching the Lyon’s cubs and no one seems to really understand who it is. Is it the Yakuza? The Mexican mob? Another unknown gang looking to make a splash? It’s up to Adrian and Zooey to figure it out – and hopefully stop a major gang war.

Along the way, they have to deal with overzealous law enforcement officers, including one undercover cop who’s in too deep and may not be able to get out. There are femme fatales a-plenty – particularly since the Kimreans play pretty fast and loose with the definition of the term. And of course, the wealth of pop cultural tidbits and tropes that mark the work of Edgar Cantero; nods to big dumb action movies and noir classics, Saturday morning cartoons and canonical literature.

And at the center of it all, one of the most bizarre sibling rivalries ever put to page.

Full disclosure: I assumed I was going to like this book, if only because I absolutely loved Cantero’s last offering “Meddling Kids.” But I also assumed there was no way the author could re-achieve the hilarious and strange heights hit by that story. I was wrong. “This Body’s Not Big Enough for Both of Us” is just as good as its predecessor while being a very different book. The two share some stylistic and thematic DNA, but each is its own thing.

“This Body” is a very interior book; unsurprising, considering the nature of its protagonist(s). Cantero spends a lot of time teasing out the weird dynamic between Adrian and Zooey, drawing the reader along as we learn more and more about these two people as they try and navigate their unique circumstances. The interpersonal interactions between them are magnificent to read, capturing the bizarreness of the situation while also presenting the two as real, distinct people.

It really is remarkable.

Of course, “This Body” is also populated with a cast of idiosyncratic supporting characters that really flesh out the world that Cantero aims to create. The dysfunctional family at the helm of a drug empire, packed with a soap opera’s worth of overwrought relationships. The undercover cop whose faith and friendship mean the world to Adrian and Zooey … and whose fate might well rest in their hands. The doctor who proved the individual personhood of the Kimreans (though the “how” is never really explained) and who remains in their lives to this day. All are multi-dimensional and funny and weird and beautifully unique.

Cantero’s San Carnal is a funhouse mirror salute to societal self-involvement, an urban amalgam that imports bits of vital venality from a variety of cityscapes, from Vegas to Venice Beach. It’s an ideal setting for such a story, chimeric in much the same way as the story’s star(s).

“This Body’s Not Big Enough for Both of Us” is a hilarious trip of a novel, self-aware and subversive in all the best ways. Cantero’s multitude of inspirations come together in a marvelous morass, creating a story driven by unconventional heroes and unexpected villains. It celebrates its influences even as it challenges them. A remarkable work from a remarkable writer.
Profile Image for Doctor Moss.
489 reviews18 followers
August 19, 2018
This book’s just a whole lot of fun.

The story centers on a detective, A. Z. Kimrean — a great character invention by the author, Edgar Cantero. Kimrean is really two people, chimeric twins. Their body contains two sets of distinct DNA and two distinct but communicating consciousnesses — not “dual personality”, real dual biological people in one body. One is A (Adrian) KImrean, the analytical, socially insensitive male, and the other is Z (Zooey) Kimrean, the intuitive, socially empathic female. Nevermind the stereotypes, for now at least, suspend disbelief in the whole idea, and just take in the show.

Kimrean is a constant battle between their two selves, but, since they share a single body, they have to reconcile themselves somehow into single courses of action, as inconsistent as they may be. That’s especially poignant for a private detective, making plans and executing them with lives on the line. Kimrean’s path naturally jerks right and left, it never goes straight.

The plot is really more of a chance to play out the character. Kimrean is hired by the police in San Francisco to help save an undercover agent and prevent a gang war. Between Adrian’s lack of social awareness and Zooey’s impulsiveness, Kimrean’s style is refreshingly unsubtle and crazed. They (Kimrean is/are always referred to in the plural) can be brilliant in a Sherlock Holmes way, but often hunchy and wrong.

But, like I said, the plot is just the train the character rides, like a Hitchcockian McGuffin — only in this case, it’s the whole plot, not just some part of it, that’s the McGuffin.

And I think it works. It works well enough that I’d like to see Cantero write a sequel or two — Kimrean Mysteries. I think the character is strong enough, and the whole idea of its conflicting sides issuing in a single course of brilliant action is interesting enough, to support a series.

If you want to intellectualize, and you don’t want to just go back and beat on the stereotyping of the A and the Z sides, then think about the depiction of consciousness here. Chimeric twins are real — two sets of genetic material within the same body (e.g., from cases in which one of two biological twins doesn’t survive to birth, and its genetic material merges with the twin who does survive), but the extrapolation from there to functioning twin conscious lives within a single body — that’s kind of a fun thing to think about. What makes a unified consciousness in the first place?

There is also a breaking-the-first-wall literary device. The story, and at least some of the characters in it (including of course Kimrean) know that they are part of a detective story, or that reality itself is a story — one way, the other, or both. But Cantero doesn’t play that element heavily. It comes and goes, after it introduces the story at the very beginning. I’m not even sure how successful it is here, or how much it adds, beyond just adding to the spirit of the fun and not taking things too seriously.

I guess that’s the whole point. And you can get a little intellectual about it, too, if you want.
Profile Image for Josh (Beards & Books).
79 reviews29 followers
October 15, 2019
“Ursula ta-daed back before their eyes, her noodle legs looking like Hellboy’s right fist, ending in heavy-armored sneakers.”

If you give into its completely mental nature of This Body's Not Big Enough for Both of Us its a great, fun read.

The idea of two siblings (brother & sister) sharing the same body from birth is enough to tell you what you're in for, both personalities are very different and they clash on every page.

I personally REALLY like Cantero's writing style and whilst this didn't live up to Meddling Kids, it was super fun.

Almost gave it four stars but I think thats probably half a star to many! 3.5 very well deserved stars, would read a sequel!

This quote sums the plot up perfectly, don't fight it, just enjoy it...

“Kimrean sighted purple caged dancers, mud wrestlers, tattooed devils, G-stringed Atlases erected like Pillars of Hercules out of a liquid crowd waving in worship of ancient twerk masters summoning cellulite tsunamis.”
Profile Image for 🐴 🍖.
368 reviews21 followers
April 7, 2023
the joss whedon-est thing i ever read, embodying both the dude's strengths (full of life; frequently witty) and flaws (meta in a way that seems almost embarrassed about it; under the misapprehension that calling attention to a tired trope makes it less of a tired trope). appreciation will vary in direct proportion
105 reviews
August 12, 2018
This is a strange-but-good read. It started off choppy, but the mystery was well done and the action fast paced. If you like genre tropes this book will appeal to you. I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially the last third and the ending which were great. Thank you to the publisher for the arc.
Profile Image for Elly.
17 reviews
July 2, 2023
this book is definitely more creative, but Definitely wheel to wheel w killing floor for the most wtf-is-this-it’s-so-fucking-bad book i’ve read ! ig this is what i get for blind borrowing it based on just the spine:’)
Profile Image for D.
717 reviews
March 30, 2019
This story Contains Explicit Content

A whole lotta cussin'! Totally LOVED it! So needed it!

"I'm gonna kick your ass so far, your turds will have jet lag!"
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