Saturday, November 24, 2012

Review: Sloughing Off the Rot

Read 11/13/12 - 11/19/12
3 Stars - Recommended to readers with strong stomachs and a sense of humor
Pgs: 125 (eBook)
Self Published - Release Date Unknown

In his third self published novel, Lance Carbuncle takes us inside the head of a comatose man and leads us down the red brick road to redemption.

Our protagonist, John, awakens in a cave with no memory - he has no clue who he is, how he got there, or why this is happening to him. With a voice in his head and a demented madman by his side, he sets out on a dream-like quest to cleanse his soul. Along the way, he picks up Alf the Sacred Burro (long time Carbuncle fans will remember this filthy, lovable little guy), a philosophical giant, and a group of colorful desert indians - all of whom play a special role in John's unusual spiritual journey.

While it's not a story for the weak of heart or soft of stomach, Sloughing Off the Rot does have quite the cheeky sense of humor. Pop Culture references are hidden like Easter Eggs in this incredibly raunchy, slightly pornographic, bizarro mashup of the Bible and the Wizard of Oz. John's quest comes complete with its own red brick road, burning bushes, sleepy field of poppies, and new-wave zombies who will either eat you or gang-bang you. The strange, dreaming landscape is reminiscent of what we're taught to think of as purgatory - that in-between place where you work off your sins to prove you are worthy of living the good life in heaven.

In Carbuncle's hands, though, the inherent good in people is tested in the most hellish and nightmarish ways. A near-complete departure from his previous books, he plays around with salvation and forgiveness and the ability to overcome one's own festering wounds. He toys with man's willingness to persevere. He decorates the path to redemption with some of the most foul and disgusting things I've ever read.

Clocking in at a short 125 pages, I found myself wishing that Lance taken more time to expand on the story - there were times where it felt as though it wasn't as polished as it could have been, where some moments flew by at lightening speed while others seemed to plod along unnecessarily. However, the overall dream-like/ nightmarish setting made it easy for me to forgive those. When we dream, things are not always as clear and linear as we would like them to be, right?

Take a peek at this spotlight, where Lance features an excerpt and two illustrations from the book. Then, go give his writing a whirl. Your mind will never be the same again!

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