Tuesday, March 12, 2013
3.5 stars - Recommended to readers who don't mind a few kitty cat neck sizzles.
Publisher: Lazy Fascist Press (print) / Electric Literature (eBook)
Release Date: March 2013
Sam Pink is a little bit like a teenager trapped in a man's body. He's full of piss and vinegar, finds fascination in the silliest and strangest things, and wants everybody and everything to suck his dick.
In Rontel (as with most of Pink's novels), our narrator finds himself immersed in the humdrum of everyday life - hating his job so much that he simply calls off and never shows back up, hating cell phones so badly that he finds humor in torturing the salesman with ridiculous questions when purchasing a replacement, killing time shooting the shit with Chicago's homeless, and borderline bullying his brother and their excellently tempered kitty cat named, yes, Rontel. The things that poor poor cat has to put up with. Tsk.Tsk.
How this dude has managed to score himself a girlfriend and not die of malnutrition or some insanely unhygienic disease is beyond me. He lives in filth, showers only when he can smell himself through his cologne or is sweating like a dog, and has been known to live in the same pair of pants for nearly a month before giving them a good wash.
He gets pissed off at places when they don't call him in for interviews, even though he turns in the applications half filled out. He enjoys fucking with people and spends a lot of time pondering weird shit like how great it would be to give people "the business" and how long it would take him to use up 18 bars of soap and whether we will even be using soap when he gets down to his last bar. He even daydreams about buying a new video game and locking himself inside his apartment until he beats the thing.
With each novel that Sam Pink pens, I worry more and more about his mental state. He's like a present day Holden Caufield, all grown up, only... not. It's like puberty hit and took up permanent residence in his body. He's like a lost boy, all nasty energy and no idea how to release it. While he's completely bent on being miserable and making everyone around him miserable, I somehow find myself drawn to his arrogant and ridiculous nature and I can't help but think that the real Sam Pink is just like this. Or at least, has been like this at some point in his life.
I know that I will continue to read whatever new novel Sam Pink writes. I suppose I am glutton for punishment. Dude keeps it real, again and again... and I have mad respect for that.