Saturday, September 03, 2005


BELCH, by Trip Albacore
Henry (he has no last name - or does he?), a faceless corporate drone for a company of unspecified purpose in a city known simply as City, suffers from malaise of indeterminate origin. All he knows is that his ankles hurt, he feels like he just swallowed an enormous raisin and he can't whistle anymore. One day, while waiting for a bus (what number bus? Wouldn't you like to know?), he meets a charismatic, mysterious 12-year-old, also named Henry (this may well turn out to be significant), who proposes the ideal solution to his problem: a belching contest. What happens next, we can't say, but here's a hint: people end up getting mutilated humorously and the one female character in the book sleeps with everybody until her namesake, the author's junior-year high-school girlfriend, gets an injunction and those parts are edited from the book. "Nihilicious." - Made-Up-Words Montheekly

, by Gad Burlinghame
That house the jaded, thirtyish grad school dropout, would-be writer and chilblains sufferer is renting for the summer - there's something wrong with it. Something in the walls. Something that fills the halls with the stench of total societal breakdown. And bleach. Which may or may not itself be symbolic, but Christ, I hate that smell. I mean, he does. The protagonist. Who is not me.

CRIMP, by Nikk Jiggerhammerer
Jaundiced bibliophile Mr. Ex, aimless and more than a little psuedonymous, drifts into a darkly seductive subculture of people who eat stuff that probably shouldn't be eaten. Liberated at first, Mr. Ex's distanced, ironic sense of elation is shattered when, in a climactic scene almost worth putting at the end of the book, he discovers that the cult's charismatic, mysterious leader is not a figment of his fevered imagination or a projection of the dark underbelly of post-millennial America, but just a balding guy named Morris who wants his money.

VESTED, by Gyp Mercatorus
Furry, adorable little animals are turning up in abandoned shirt factories throughout the more washed-out, recessive regions of the U.S. And they're dead. And if you cut them open, you'll find cute, defenseless little babies in there. They're dead, too. Maybe they have something awful written on their foreheads as well. It'd have to be pretty shocking, whatever it is. I'll get back to you on that.

REMAINDER, by Tick Vulgarimminan
Mr. Teacher, a prematurely jaded substitute teacher at an unnamed middle school in a nondescript locale, finds himself drawn into a temptingly dusky netherworld of mathematical madness when he discovers a set of truly improper fractions that, when said aloud, cause innocent, archetypal people to do the sort of horrifying, edgy things that go on in modern America if you really wanted to look for them. Nothing sexual, though, as that's kinda icky. The story takes a number of dark, sinister and potentially very cinematic turns, leading to the shockingly ironic denouement where thirty copies of the hardcover mysteriously, charismatically turn up on the CLEARANCE table at every Buck-A-Book in post-9/11 America.

GRUMBLE, by Clunt Erasmuscatallion
Purports to be the newly-unearthed journal of an anonymous, possibly psychotic loner descending into delusions and eventually madness, but is really an old text on corn removal with photos of deformed cattle and quotes from old Skinny Puppy records interpolated at random. Don't tell anyone.

*Books may arrive every three weeks, every five, or occasionally almost a month and a half after the previous one. That's just how we are. We can't help ourselves.


Gary Mairs said...

Sir, you slay me. Return to civilization!

Clunt Erasmuscatallion said...

Dime dropper.