CASUAL REX by Eric Garcia


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A prequel that’s as daringly, darkly loopy as Anonymous Rex (1999) in which dinosaurs are buckled and strapped into latex “guises” and roam the mean streets pretending to be the human kings and queens of the food chain. Velociraptor Vincent Rubio, an L.A. private eye, and his older but hardly wiser partner Ernie Watson, are looking for Ernie’s ex-wife’s son Rupert, a T-Rex, in order to rescue him from the Progressives, a cult devoted to the “ancestors” and the premise that all dinosaurs should be “au natural.” And they’ve been hired to reclaim their landlord’s “Mussolini,” his synthetic and much-beloved penis, from a dino-hooker, the trashy Star, who swiped it. The dino p.i.’s kidnap Rupert and have him deprogrammed by Dr. Beaumont Beauregard, but a few days later Rupert commits suicide. Or does he? To find out, the duo con their landlord into financing a trip to Hawaii, purportedly in search of his Mussolini, but actually to scope out a Progressive enclave fronted by the beautiful raptor Circe. Surrounded by Brontos, Carnos, Compies, even Stegos, who are subjected to paramilitary training on the island, Vincent and Ernie barely escape back to L.A. in time to confront the evil Raal, the mastermind who is mounting a full-scale takeover of the universe. All ends well for the boys, though, thanks to an assist from a cadre of transvestite dinos led by the high-camp Jules.

In between satirizing mind-control, herd behavior, mass stupidity, dumb fashions, bloodlust, sex, and noir conventions, Garcia will have you panting over the veggie and spice displays for intoxicating, mood-altering whiffs of basil, cilantro, and even fenugreek.

Pub Date: March 9th, 2001
ISBN: 0-679-46307-0
Page count: 340pp
Publisher: Villard
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2001


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