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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

VIDEO REVIEW - The Rotgut County Blues by Jason Wayne Allen

I recently rode the bus for several hours around the island of Oahu in Hawaii. Up the coast to the North Shore, down the center of the island into Honolulu, over the Pali mountain highway and back over to the east side town of Kaneohe and its volcanically produced ocean bay, where I currently reside. I rode the bus all day specifically to get some reading time in. It's about a 2-2.5 hour ride up to North Shore, and during that time I read Mr. Allen's sobering neo-beat tale of youth anguish set in the southern United States.

What first struck me as interesting is the well-honed focus of the story. A lot of beat literature tends to stray from their stories with many side anecdotes that do nothing to further the plot. RCB never loses sight of its core, however: This is a story of young love.

Jack and Ruby (A nod to a certain Oswald-killing man, perhaps?) are the young lovers in question. Jack moved to Garr County, Georgia from Atlanta while Ruby's lived there her whole life. Despite their differences they both abhor the stale culture of their surroundings, and the two cling to each other for support, drugs or otherwise.

Overstimulated but undersexed, Jack's angst is like a trick candle, easy to blow out momentarily but impossible to keep from resparking. Get ready for a shitstorm if you run into Jack on a day when he's broke and out of cigarettes. He finds solace from his problems hanging out with Ruby, their minds escaping together into beer cans and clouds of marihuana smoke.

Mr. Allen has painted a stone cold portrait of growing up in the middle of nowhere. No sympathy, no leniency, and no excuses. Grey lines keep the characters ambivalent. There is no clear right or wrong when life is getting by day-to-day looking for cheap forms of entertainment and waiting for something, anything to happen. So it goes in Small Town, USA.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: A Message From The Slave State by Chris Kelso

 Somewhere between dystopian novel and offbeat character study lies A Message From The Slave State. The story's plotlines are more disjointed than a six hour game of Twister. The point-of-view switches often between characters both major and minor, chiefly following an old lush as he drinks himself into oblivion and a young man on a mission to murder.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

New Bizarro Author Series Review #25 by Special Guest Garrett Cook: Avoiding Mortimer by J.W. Wargo

Ego Says:
There’s a scene in a Charlie Brown Christmas that I always identified with. There are many, but in particular, there is one. Charlie Brown is talking to Lucy, who in her capacity as a self appointed therapist is trying to isolate Charlie Brown’s fears. After rattling off a list of phobias, banal and exotic alike, she names off “Pantophobia.”

“What’s that?” Charlie Brown asks.

“Fear of everything.”

“THAT’s IT!” he shouts back.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Old Normal Author Series Review #666: Avoiding Mortimer by J.W. Wargo

Mouse Says:
SQUEEEEEEEEeKKKKK!!!!!! This is a book. It is very chewable and makes for great nesting material. While I am resting in my book nest I read the bedding and get a feel for this story. The first thing I noticed about this story is that it features nothing edible. Sometimes I get so hungry I eat my nest, then I am sad.

Another interesting thing about this book is the ink. It is very black, in contrast with the white pages. This is very easy to see which I appreciate the people who made this book doing. Also, I think the ink may be poisonous. I want to throw up so bad but I cannot. This is concerning but I will go on eating it because it is there.

Monday, March 25, 2013

New Bizarro Author Series Review #24: Kitten by G. Arthur Brown

Id Says:
BARK BARK BARK! Squirrels bark, right? So what do kittens who are actually squirrels but might actually be kittens do? Conundrum!

Trevor's squirrel doesn't have a name and has recently, much to the dismay of Trevor's mother Amaand, begun to vomit up used stamps. The thing is completely fucking useless and Amaand wants it gone. She goes to her dead father-in-law for help and he gets in her touch with a collector...