Right. So.
Monster Hunter International is a series of books written by Larry Correia about a crew of monster hunters who work for a company known as Monster Hunter International. It basically codifies the "Gun Porn" trope, having been written by a former gun store owner and firearm aficionado. I reviewed the first book here, but long story short, if you like pretty guns and monsters being killed by them, it's worth a read.
Monster Hunter Memoirs was coauthored by John Ringo, one of the premier writers of military science fiction. The result is, well, interesting.
Memoirs is a prequel series, set in the 80's. It lives up to its name as a set of memoirs written by a monster hunter named Chad. He has a full name, but I'm too drunk to remember it. At any rate, at a glance, he's the epitome of a Marty Stu. Genius level IQ? Check. In perfect physical shape? Check. Master of everything he ever tried? Check. The only person worth a damn out of all his friends and family? Check.
The first couple of chapters are long and rambling, detailing his early life in excruciating detail while still somehow skipping around like a coked up spider monkey. His mom was a serious hippie, a pot smoking, communist supporting hardcore feminist who treated Chad like poodoo. His dad was a philandering professor who was always eager to get a blowjob in exchange for a good grade. His brother was a sadist, who beat him on a regular basis on his child.
Chad was a straight C student, despite an outrageously high IQ; his mother informed him early on that he should be more "socially appropriate" after being informed by his kindergarten teacher that he was far too advanced for his age. After that, he carefully got a perfect C in every single class he took, just to prove a point. After 18 years of enduring his unbearable hippie mother, he joined the Marine Corps just to piss her off.
After a short stint in the Corps, he was blown up in the Beirut in the barracks bombing. He was killed, but upon reaching heaven, which is apparently a fisherman's paradise, he was offered a choice: kick back in a slightly boring heaven, or accept a minor miracle and survive the bombing in order to perform an unspecified mission.
The story picks up from there, detailing Chad's monster hunting career, or at least the early part that occurs in Portland. It's an entertaining yarn, even if Chad's slightly OP. The narrator affects a slight Kentucky accent, fitting for the character's voice. The story never quite loses its slightly rambling nature, but seeing as how it's a memoir, it fits. The action is well described, and in the parts where the narrator voices other characters, he adopts a frankly astonishing array of accents, adding a new layer to the story.
The action is extremely well described. Ringo made a living writing fights against all manner of inhuman creatures, and is easily one of the best in the business. That skill carries over to Grunge. The fights are all interesting and detailed, and if Ringo doesn't have Correia's encyclopedia knowledge of firearms, he still does a good job of describing the weapons in near pornographic detail. It's entertaining stuff, and you'll rarely be bored.
There's also plenty of Ringo's characteristic humor. The funniest scenes are almost invariably between Chad and his mother. ("How can you kill babies?" "Easy, they don't dodge.") His mother is absolutely the stereotypical hippie moonbat commie feminist, a caricature of every bad 60's activist you saw on news reals, and the collisions with her stereotypical Marine son are the stuff of legend.
By all reckoning, this should be a bad book. Between the rambling nature of memoirs and the ridiculous main character, along with heaping helpings of 80's conservatism mingled with Catholicism and a rather odd socially liberal attitude, it should be a poorly mishmashed hodgepodge. Instead, Ringo and Correia work together to spin a coherent, entertaining tale.The superb narration helps tie it all together. And though it's a prequel to the MHI main series, you can easily pick it up without having to worry about not knowing what the hell is going on.
I can't speak of how well it reads, but if you've got a free Audible credit lying around, Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge is an entertaining 12 hours worth of listening.