Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Review: The Obese
5 Stars - Highly Recommended / The Next Best Book - Excellent gateway to Bizarro Fiction
Pgs: 80 (eBook)
Publisher: Lazy Fascist Press
Don't you dare look away! It's not the kind of thing I would want to be staring at either, those rosy red cheeks and thunder thighs... but trust me, you're going to want to add this book to your wishlist once I'm done with this review.
Lazy Fascist Press (the guys attached to the whole recent "nicest cease and desist lawyer letter in the history of ever" thing) belongs on your radar. An imprint of Eraserhead Press, Lazy Fascist focuses on the less extreme, yet still highly unclassifiable fiction. Their backlist includes some of the most accessible bizarro fiction books out there. Familiarize yourself with them. Please?
The Obese by Nick Antosca is probably one of the most hilarious and strangely coincidental short fiction books I've ever read. I, erm, devoured it on the car ride back from New York City. I mention this only because of the circumstances surrounding how I came about reading it in the first place.
When we ran out of the house on Saturday and headed into the city, I completely forgot to bring my current read with me. I drove there, so I didn't notice until much later that the book still sat on my kitchen table. We killed the day at The Museum of National History with the kids and their grandparents on Central Park West. While we were there, we caught one of the planetarium shows - about the lives of stars - and then finished it up with a walk through Central Park to visit the Lennon memorial. On the ride home, I was chilling out in the passenger seat, now unhappily aware of my book situation. I knew I had a few ebooks downloaded in my phone, so I randomly chose The Obese to keep me company till we got back.
Are you paying attention? Because here's where the uncanny coincidences come in - the main character Nina, who makes her living photoshopping the models for a fashion magazine, lives on Central Park West. Within the first few pages, Nina shares a strange dream she awoke from that involved a star turning supernova. Are you seeing the connections? I was just on Central Park West, she lives on Central Park West. I had just stared up at the ceiling of a planetarium mere hours before watching a star turn supernova, and she dreamed about one. Weird, right?! It was like I was meant to read this book at that exact goddamned moment, guys! I couldn't have manufactured a better time to read it if I had tried.
But that's not the really cool part. Because the cool part is what happens in the book, to Nina and the group of semi-friends she finds herself stuck with when all hell breaks loose in New York City. The fact that I was literally just walking the same streets this shit will go down on was icing on the cake.
See, Nina is a skinny bitch. She hates fat. Fat people disgust her. And when a chubby high school friend asks to crash at her place for a few days, Nina reluctantly agrees. But then Nina gripes about Dora's fatness online to her ex-boyfriend and Dora sees it, so drama ensues and Nina decides to use her male-model one-night-stand as a revenge weapon to get back at Dora.
As all of this shit is going down between Nina and her male-model-one-night-stand-turned-Dora-weapon, the fat people of New York City are beginning to act strange. They start to reek of rotten pumpkin. Some are seen running through the streets, making nom nom nom noises. And just that fast, the skinny people of the Upper West Side find themselves fighting for their lives... against the obese!
So that's really all I can tell you. I'm afraid if I say any more, I'll ruin it for you. You've really got to read it for yourself.
It's a quick and dirty look at the cruel and emotionally scarring lines society draws around the morbidly obese, severely anorexic, and.. erm.. cannibalism??.. stirring in a little gore-and-gross to keep things light. Told in first person present, the story moves at lightening speed and throws you right into the center of things.
While this book is certain to piss some people off, I think it's important to remember that this is satire at its strongest and.. erm.. tastiest?? It's meant to boil your blood while it.. erm.. drains it??
Ok, enough. I've got to stop before I give it all away.
Go. Get it. Read it now. And thank me later.