Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Book Review: Day of the Milkman
2 Stars - Recommended Lightly to readers already familiar with the stranger side of Bizarro
Publisher: Bizarro Pulp Press
Released: June 2014
I pride myself on knowing what I like and I usually do a pretty damn good job of picking books I know I'll enjoy. But every once in a while, I get it wrong. And when I do, BOY do I!
Day of the Milkman came to my attention as a Kindle Recommendation, based on other titles I had recently added or downloaded to the app. I took a peek at it on Goodreads, liked the cover, am familiar with the publisher, and thought the description sounded pretty cool. So I purchased it for 2.99. Thank god that's all I paid for it. A buck and a penny more and you might've heard me start pitching a fit over the whole thing.
To be clear, it wasn't the book's premise, so much, that turned me off. It was the way the author executed it. We went from something I could kind of get lost in to something that was just so ridiculously patched together I eye-rolled so bad at times I thought my eyes would roll right out of their sockets. Cartledge's writing style left a lot lacking too...
Here we have HiLo. Who is rocked awake on a piece of glass flotsam in a sea of milk. Because Milk. It's this bizarro world's version of water. And the glass? It was once a door. To an office. On a ship. A glass bottomed Milk Evaluation Ship of sorts. And HiLo was one of the ship's crew members. Now, he's the only SURVIVING member. The last milkman on earth. In a sea of quickly spoiling milk (gag). That's gotta smell great!
As the book goes on, we discover HiLo's floating out there in the sea of milk because there was a storm. And this storm killed everything that was in (or on) the sea. Boats were torn asunder and submerged. Seamen were sucked under the milky waves and drowned. Sea cows - these cow/manatee hybrid creatures that replenish the milk in the sea by squirting it out of their nipples (slight gag) directly into the sea they swim and shit in (more gagging) - were boiled up and beached as a result of it, too. And whatever caused this storm is now causing the sea to heat up and start curdling.
And poor HiLo is left to face the rotting world on his own. Well, wait, not completely on his own, cause he's got this high tech holographic computer wristband chick Calcitine with him, but she's not human so yeah, totally, he's all alone.
He and Calcitine manage to paddle their way to an island, the island that houses a Milk Factory that pulls milk out of the sea and purifies it or something. Well, looks like the storm somehow caused all the landlubbers to disappear and die too (but where are all the bodies then?!), and now no one's around to run the machines. This is bad. Really bad. The milk is just totally fucking sour now. The sea itself is curdling up so fast it's becoming thick and gelatinous. There's not a drop left to drink. HiLo, I think you're screwed.
But no, wait, he and his hologram head out to the main land to search for supplies and fresh milk, if there is any, and other people, if there any of them left either, and along the way we're treated to some really bizarre dreams and hallucinations brought on by his malnourished mind. And then things get kind of.. .weirder.
There's a big blue beached sea cow that causes some troubles for HiLo, and some creepy androgynous mole-people, and a stolen milk machine that kind of sounds like a vagina with arms and teeth that not only shoots milk into an underground lake from some dangling cord-like teats while simultaneously giving birth to millions of eggs - eggs that contain ever evolving versions of more mole-people, sea cows, and whatever other DNA the milk machine sucks out of the milk lake. Ew. Just a whole bunch of ew....
Can one man and his hologram, and some mole-people and cloned eggs, and a vagina-like milk machine, all work together to rebuild civilization and recreate the milk sea?
ST Cartledge has one weird-ass imagination. I wonder if the idea for this book all stemmed from some horrible faux-fairy tale he would tell his kids (or someone else's kids) when they refused to drink their milk with dinner. I wouldn't be surprised. Honestly.
Apocalypse by soured milk. Wheeeee.....