DUCK DUCK WALLY by Gabe Rotter


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A preposterous setup eventually pays entertaining dividends in this slapstick send-up of show business in general and hip-hop in particular.

Subtle, it isn’t. Sophomoric, it may be. But there are plenty of laughs in this debut novel about an unassuming Jewish, 30-something schlub who somehow finds himself the ghostwriter for the misogynistic, streetwise rhymes of Oral B, America’s premier gangsta rapper (think Snoop Dogg of old, or 50 Cent). In the slow opening, first-person narrator Wally Moskowitz spends so much time telling the reader what a “frumpy, kind chubby little boring man” he is that some might be tempted to take him at his word and quit in the middle of “chizapter 1.” Setting the plot in motion is a chance (or not so chance?) encounter in a public restroom between Wally and a minor member of Oral B’s posse, who reveals to Wally he knows the secret nobody is supposed to know: that Oral B’s genius raps are actually Wally’s. The flustered Wally proceeds to urinate on the thug in retaliation. Now he’s got two worries: that the thug will get back at him and that the leaked secret will get back to the scary mogul behind Oral B’s record label, Godz-Illa Records. In the meantime, Moskowitz is still trying to peddle a series of Dr. Suess–like books aimed at adults, with subjects such as organized crime, oral sex and illegal drugs. These short books, though they helped him procure the deal with Godz-Illa, aren’t nearly as funny as the obscene raps he writes, but they somehow find a publisher who wants them cleaned up and transformed into a series aimed at children. The rest of the plot pivots around a scheming (and stereotypical) agent, a dognapping, a beautiful woman who inexplicably throws herself at Wally, a murder charge and characters with names such as Yo Yo Pa and Sue Schadenfreude.

A novel for those with no aversion to the broadest satire or affinity for political correctness.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-4165-3786-1
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2007