Thursday, October 27, 2011

Beyond the Valley of the Apocalypse Donkeys

Beyond the Valley of the Apocalypse DonkeysBeyond the Valley of the Apocalypse Donkeys by Jordan Krall

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Henry Price makes a delivery to a nudist colony and becomes entranced by a naked woman wearing a donkey mask. Gary Lancaster is obsessed with a movie called The Apocalypse Donkeys, a film that may or may not be real, and blueberry pancakes. Bill Stapleton is an aging former daredevil who knows someone is sleeping with his wife. But how are the men linked by the mysterious green hummingbird?

Jordan Krall continues to impress me. I first became a fan of his after Fistful of Feet, his bizarro western. Subsequent books of his like Squid Pulp Blues and King Scratch have reinforced my opinion of him as an author to watch in the future. Then this book came along.

I've read a lot of bizarro fiction in 2011 and this one may have taken the cake. How many other books have you read that prominently feature a naked woman in a donkey mask, a green hummingbird, blueberry pancakes, and a nudist colony? And I didn't even mention references to Small Wonder, that 80's sitcom featuring the little girl robot, or the 66 Ford Futura, the car they used to construct the Batmobile in the 1960's Batman show.

The book starts off just a little odd and becomes positively nightmarish by the end. The nature of identity is explored, as are aspects of voyeurism. The scene near the end with Gary and the coven of naked donkey-masked women was my favorite part of the book.

That's about all I have to say. Krall's rendered me speechless. It's an easy four but expect a helping of uneasiness while you read it.

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