Monday, April 14, 2014
Book Review: Die You Doughnut Bastards
3 Stars - Recommended to fans of light bizarro cause light bizarro's like a box a chocolates, you never know just what kinda crazy ass stories you gunna get.
Publisher: Eraserhead Press
Every once in awhile, I gotta take a break from the overwhelming pile of review books and stick my nose into something else. A little breather reading. Something fun - not that what I have in my review pile isn't fun, mind you - but a pressure free read that I can escape into, like a warm bath after a mentally draining day at work.
For these side-reads of mine, I like to pick up lighter books, funkier books, books that don't ask to be taken seriously. Because lord knows 'serious' books require quite a bit of work and effort on the part of the reader. (Wait till you read my upcoming review on You Lost Me There, which isn't written yet because I'm still chewing on it all. Yeah.)
Cameron Pierce's Die You Doughnut Bastards was just the bizarro brain candy I was hungry for. I downloaded the collection for 99 cents on a whim when Eraserhead Press had a can't-pass-this-shit-up sale (my words, not theirs). Knowing Cameron through his position as head editor at Lazy Fascist Press, but never having read any of his own writing, I figured hell, for 99 cents, even if only one of his stories blows me away, it was worth it!
But I really shouldn't have worried. Typical of the work he chooses to publish over at LFP, Cameron is king at creating his own absurdly awesome and awesomely horrible worlds. Regular sized pet guinea pigs that develop a taste for blood and escape the confines of their cages to chew their way past your eyeball and into your brain? Check. Spooky Christmas pancakes that howl and scream while you drown them in maple syrup and cut into them? Check. Oh, and how about a prison made of pizza that drips sauce all over its anorexic inmates? Yup, it's got that too. And how can we not talk about the opening apocalyptic story that involves killer doughnuts? It'll have you thinking twice before biting into that Boston Creme with your morning coffee!
Not all of the stories are as whacked out as these, however. Some are actually quite sweet and touching. "Lantern Jaw" is a lovely, if not strange, little love story about two misfit high schoolers, while "Mitchell Farnsworth" is more a lusty fuckfest-gone-to-pot between two former roommates. And then there's "The Death Card" which is part bittersweet and part goopey-doopey, where an expectant young father is tasked with packing up his "toy" room to make space for their baby.
Cameron walks a delicate line between being overly sappy and slightly too gross, threading just enough of each into his stories, blending just the right amount of awkward into the absurd. You almost don't trust where he's about to take you. And it's a pretty cool feeling.