Sunday, July 3, 2011

Review: Black Hole Blues

Read 6/24/11 - 7/3/11
3 Stars - Recommended to readers familiar with genre and author
Pgs: 203

Ever wonder what happened to Kenny Rogers? I have the answer... he has become the arch-enemy of J. Claude Caruthers - country music's biggest star, the man who is one name away from writing a country song for every woman's name on earth.

As Claude struggles with insomnia and the pressure of finding a word that rhymes with "Zygmut", his estranged astrophysicist twin brother Lloyd attempts to recreate the Big Bang and accidently opens a black hole that slowly reeks havoc on the world.

These events - plus the search for Claude's stolen guitar, his chef's desire to create the world's tastiest club sandwich, and the strange letters Lloyd has been receiving from his missing sister - propel the Caruther brothers to reunite under the most complicated of circumstances.

Black Hole Blues is a great example of literature that does not take itself too seriously. It's fun and revengeful, and even gives it's inanimate objects an opportunity to become part of the narrative:
  • Claude's guitar "Rusty" laments over the inhuman treatment his captors inflict upon him, locking him inside his guitar case, while reminiscing about the good and bad times he has experienced in his owners hands.
  • Claude's tour bus recounts Claude's multiple bouts of depression.
  • An uneaten club sandwich mopes over the fact that Claude left her to rot under his bed, never having taken a single bite out of her, leaving her destiny unfulfilled.
  • A happily married proton details his experience of smacking face first into his proton-wife in the Hadron Collider, and his disgust at having turned into a black hole that eats everything that crosses his path.
I first became familiar with Patrick Wensink when I reviewed his short story collection Sex Dungeon For Sale a little more than a year ago. I loved the unique way in which he viewed the world and thought his pacing within each story was perfect. If you are new to Patrick or the sub-genre of bizarro fiction, I would recommend starting there because I think it better demonstrates his flexibility as a writer.

You don't have to be a fan of country music or pseudo-science fiction to pick up what Patrick Wensink is attempting to lay down here. Black Hole Blues is an entertaining, multi-layered novel that keeps it's readers on their toes from the very start. Wensink cleverly handles the daunting task of meshing numerous side stories together in a satisfying finale full of tricks and twists and contains all the right ingredients to make a killer television dramedy .

**Oh no! I almost forgot:

Patrick submitted his book to Kenny Rogers' publicist in the hopes that The Gambler himself would write a blurb endorsing the book. Kenny's management team gave him the runaround, and to get even, Patrick created Death to Kenny Rogers - a website dedicated to ruining Kenny's career. Fancy a peek? Click here to see what all the fuss and hurt feelings are about!

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