Author Lance Carbuncle
Strap on your athletic cup and grab a barf bag. The Dr. Reverend Lance Carbuncle is going to kick you square in the balls and send you on a wild ride that may or may not answer the following questions: what happens when two white trash, trailer park-dwelling, platonic life partners go on a moronic and misdirected crime spree?; can their manly love for each other endure when one of them suffers a psychological bitch-slap that renders him a homicidal maniac?; will a snaggletoothed teenage prostitute tear them apart?; what is the best way to use a dead illegal alien to your advantage in a hostage situation?; what's that smell?; and, what the hell is Alf the Sacred Burro coughing up? Carbuncle's latest offering, Grundish and Askew, ponders these troubling questions and more. So sit down, put on some protective goggles, and get ready for Carbuncle to blast you in the face with a warm load of fictitious sickness.
Review: I’m taking a different slant to reviewing this novel. Too much of the pullit-surprise awesomeness would be exposed and you really should take the cult-fiction journey naked.
Grundish and Askew is an unconventional 5-star novel that rules its own genre with tenacity and confidence. Nothing is off the table or taboo here. You’ll get language, violence, grossness (I think I just made that word up) and dysfunctional characters that will make your weird relations appear normal. Scary!
Interestingly, a fantastic revenge is inserted mid-way through the novel when the author addresses a previous critic’s comments and shoves them in the mouth of a character. For this, I get on my knees and bow whiling chanting god-like phrases. Presto, the pretentious, bloated, pompous windbag is instantly infamous! In the indie literary world we’ve named this type of reviewer Nestor Maronski (see Facebook, Twitter and Bestseller Bound for details). Yep, go ahead and Google it!
“If this is a novel, it seems to me that the author has just speckled it with bizarre characters, footnotes and profanity, hoping that the shock value will be enough to carry the story."I could not disagree more! The characters are symptoms of our own stereotypical ideologies. As a society, we’ve come together to create Grundish, Askew, Turleen and collectively provide the setting, and behaviors of their neighbors. It’s the most honest reflection of contemporary thinking. Is it shocking, in your face, blunt and downright offensive? Yes, and that is the beauty of the story.
Shall we continue…back to our favorite critic.
“…But, the book’s most painful flaw is its lack of any thoughtfully crafted deeper meaning or unifying theme.”I can not directly comment on the previous story for which this addresses, but in Grundish and Askew there is undoubtedly several deep and meaningful themes and if a reader misses them, a hex on you! So, what are these delightful themes? I’ll give it a shot by brainstorming a few off the top of my cliché head.
- Friendship (the bromance is outstanding)
- Family (what is a family and then of course, loyalty to Turleen)
- Economic limitations: culture, race, geography and education
- Crime and justice- role of juvee, prison and revolving door
- Mental health and illness, dependency, and co-dependency
- The value of life and death…blah, blah, etcetera.
The comedic attributes do not lessen the greater importance of the message. In fact, ironically, it enhances the seriousness and the message(s) the author are conveying. The most obvious example is presented in the repetitive story Grundish tells Askew whenever they face separation. It begins, “Guys like us, you know, the ones that work the shit jobs and scrape by, are the loneliest guys in the world. Can’t keep jobs. Don’t fit in. They ain’t got nobody in the world that give a sideways $@*! about them…” Here’s the sign, the big whooper, the deeper meaning, the theme and/or thesis statement. This is the psychology behind the literary curtain as it pertains to this creative story.
NEXT! Wingbag continues:
“The characters are outright unlikable and the author fails to provide us with a point as to what, exactly, he is trying to accomplish.”Unlikeable? I believe that depends on each readers own experience. You might not like them, but unless the wizard forgot to give you a heart I’m certain most can sympathize. The end game of a character is not to make readers like them – how lame would that be? Characters are often devices utilized by authors to communicate. In this case, a talking donkey works perfectly. Characters may manifest in many forms spreading the spectrum from fuzzy-feel-good or horrifyingly disgusting.
Alrightly almighty douche, moving on….
"To be fair, it also cannot be said that this book is completely without any talent or redemption."By far this is a unique, creative, inventive, character-rich, language exploring, boundary breaking and imaginative book. In my singular opinion, the author is incredibly talented, daring and unapologetic. *Note: I am not related, previously befriended, or paid by the author to state this, but if he becomes rich I might claim to be a long lost third-removed cousin by marriage.
Wait for it…this is my favorite part of the review and the kick’em while they’re down death blow:
"The editing is not awful. BUT…”POW! Suckerpucnch! The EDITING? Really? All I can say is see footnote: [regarding made up words] author is attempting to help move words in the direction of standardization, if for no other reason then to irritate snooty vocabulary police.” My response to the final nugget and to all who include such nonsense in a review, “Oh Nestor Maronski I thought we killed you in Cutting The Fat by Maria Savva and Jason McIntyre (Google it, then buy it).
BTW: The author gets an extra golden star for creating the best pen name ever! If it’s not a pen name, my apologies – your parents probably have another son named Sue.
A nominee to make my Top 11 of 2011