THE MULCHING OF AMERICA by Harry Crews

THE MULCHING OF AMERICA

KIRKUS REVIEW

 An over-the-top-comedy in which the veteran wildman of redneck fiction (Scar Lover, 1992, etc.) casts his satirical eye on the all-American world of door-to-door sales. As the title suggests, Crews aspires to the same level of social criticism as Arthur Miller, Sinclair Lewis, et al., but his vision is blurred by his obsessive interest in the disgusting and grotesque. For 25 years, Hickum Looney has sold the most products for the Soaps For Life company, a record exceeded only by the Boss himself, a snaggle-toothed maniac with a harelip who promises salvation through his crappy soap products and has amassed a fortune doing it. Hickum, based in Miami, leads the properly anonymous existence of a company man, but everything changes when two females come into his lonely life. Ida Mae, an old woman abandoned by her husband, helps Hickum sell more products in a single day than anyone else has ever sold. This has incredible repercussions at the home office in Atlanta, where the Boss sees his worldview challenged. Meanwhile, Gaye Nell Odell, a young ex- prostitute, along with her vicious pit bull, Bubba, shoves her way into Hickum's solitary life. She and the equally ``rank and randy'' Ida Mae help Hickum overcome such embarrassments as chronic diarrhea and insecurity about his ``little raggedy ass Vienna sausage'' of a penis. The Boss has his own problems: his chauffeur, an ex-con who's tired of being booted in the butt; and his trainer, who suffers similar physical abuse for the money. The two are plotting revenge when the entire crew is sidetracked by an even stranger plot involving a major company shakeup and the fulfillment of a long-held rumor concerning the fate of ousted employees. A roller-coaster-ride of a novel, ``neck deep in crazy,'' that eventually drowns in ridiculousness: Crews reaches too far in his conspiratorial lunacya very '60s gestureand spoils an otherwise funny book.

Pub Date: Oct. 26th, 1995
ISBN: 0-684-80934-6
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1995




MORE BY HARRY CREWS

FictionCELEBRATION by Harry Crews
by Harry Crews
FictionSCAR LOVER by Harry Crews
by Harry Crews
FictionTHE GYPSY’S CURSE by Harry Crews
by Harry Crews

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

FictionBACK TO BLOOD by Tom Wolfe
by Tom Wolfe