A complex novel from Williams (Schmitty Love, 2011) about a man who seeks to help depressed people with their myriad problems.
I.A.M. Kinder (full name Ignatius Aloyisus Matthew Kinder) “reaches out to depressed but very disguised individuals” and “helps older, younger, middle aged sufferers, escape from their drug hazed relief!” He listens to them talk about their difficult marriages or their children’s beauty, and offers an audience and guidance to people who often lack both. The story is interspersed with, and frequently dominated by, explicit sexual descriptions (“Huge eraser tip nipples and a high round ass”), and shifts wildly from scenes of group sex heightened by cocaine use to reflections on failed relationships to comments from God himself: “I was listening to most of Phil’s story, and I believe he will be fine, and of course as God, I know that he will be ok.” It’s a disorienting whirlwind of a tale that dives into a somewhat sleazy, albeit genial, subconscious—although whose subconscious is not quite clear. The novel is broken down into brief, vignette-like chapters, with names as diverse as “A Dancers Ass,” “Addiction - Tears - Laughter” and “Love and Remarriage”—a mixture of the X-rated and suburban that can be shocking. Whether the book is a cunning critique of reality or an overwrought expression of misogyny may, in the end, come down to readers’ individual tastes. The reader never really gets to know Kinder or any other character in depth, but the book does provide occasional life lessons; the key to living in Hollywood, for example, is to pretend one is an actor on one big movie set. Overall, the book maintains a quick pace, slowed only by repetition (Kinder explains his own name more than once), in what’s otherwise a swift, if puzzling, adventure.
A unique, nontraditional narrative rife with sex, drugs and introspection.