Saturday, June 4, 2011

Nether: Demons, Politicians and A Talking Dachshund

Author Jason Beymer

One suburban night. One stubborn corpse. One golden opportunity.

Burklin had it all: a spacious two-story house, a shapeshifting wife, a wide open future. That is, until his father ripped out his soul and trapped it inside an opinionated dachshund. Now he's lost everything, leaving him a slave on mop-up duty for a homicidal teenage demon. His father is sleeping with his ex, the possessed dachshund won't stop talking, and the cleanup jobs keep getting messier. Burklin would give anything to have his life back--even if it means turning against his manipulative father and destroying their chance of winning the Nether's Demon Lord Sweepstakes. Opportunity knocks with a dead woman's hand. When the demon's latest victim won't stay dead, the rules of life and death change. Freedom lies within Burklin's reach, but to get it he'll have to defy his father, the ex-wife he still loves, and the Nether itself. 

Warning: This title contains sex, violence, human cuisine, a smart-ass dachshund, teenage demons, and fun with corpses.

Review: Crude, rude, and basically screwed is how I'd describe the all-star cast of Nether.  This lovable bunch is as entertaining as a Walmart during Christmas.  If you're like me, you can't stop watching or in this case, reading.  Fans of bizarro and dark comedy will likely dig this roller coaster from Hell.  This strange, comedic adventure is a surreal journey that tests the absurdity of humanity while also questioning the after-life.  What is beyond?  What if we don't like it and want to come back?  And best of all, how do I win the after-life sweepstakes?!  Burklin isn't sure he even wants to anymore, especially after a string of ordeals, his crappy boss and the shitty job he has to do.  All of this has him questioning whether any of it is really worth it. Also, he has one other small problem-- his soul is trapped inside his pet dachshund, Pearl.  If he wants to live he better be a good owner at take care of her.  Pearl is my favorite character in the book and had me laughing. I am a sucker for animal humor. Besides, I have my own Pearl who goes by the name, Ruby.  Ironically, even though my dog doesn't talk, (well, not to anyone but me) I've often imagined her acting and saying similar stuff.  Nether does contain sexual content but it is more humorous than sensual.  It's like picturing the patrons of a Waffle House getting it on.  Yeah, you might laugh until you gag---it's grossly funny.  Like many satirical writers, Beymer makes use of stereotypes and at times, takes them to extremes.  The use of this technique is for social criticism purposes.  It's meant to illuminate shortcomings through ridicule and hopefully by doing so, demand reflection for improvement, whether it is societal or individual.  
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Similar books I'd recommend:
Purple Jesus: A NovelGrundish and AskewSmashed, Squashed, Splattered, Chewed, Chunked and SpewedThe Meteoric Rise of Simon BurchwoodElectric Barracuda: A NovelThe Wedding Gift

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