ET TU, BABE by Mark Leyner

ET TU, BABE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Leyner's follow-up to My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist (1990), which achieved a kind of cult status, is both less and more: Once again it's a pop-culture collage with Leyner at center stage doing a series of stand-up routines, but it's also like a pimple that Leyner decided to show off simply because it appeared on his face.

While there are a number of excerpts or chapters from a purported manuscript titled "Et Tu, Babe'' ("The four-foot hermaphroditic organism from a distant solar system twitched in my arms as I soul-kissed it....''), mostly the story now is about author Leyner describing character Mark Leyner's reaction to the public and cultural reception of My Cousin: "My whole life has been one long ultraviolent hyperkinetic nightmare.'' Before this mercifully comes to its end, we are treated to a series of Woody Allen-like one-liners ("In 1987, I enrolled in a 12-step program for people who pistol-whip their tailors'') and college humor that's usually antic or amusing enough to buy at least a grin. Flip through the pages, and, here, for example, is our author entering the Hyatt Self-Surgery Clinic: "the medical equivalent of U-Hauls or rental rug shampooers.'' Or here is "visceral tattooing--a tattoo on the heart'' for a guy surfing. Or here's the Jack LaLanne Health Spa. Or a spoof of a Presidential news conference. Or "Varicose Moon,'' a play in one act. And here's an oral history in which various celebrities memorialize Leyner before he disappears. Slapstick, postmodern yuk-yuks for the MTV set.

When Saturday Night Live loses its luster, open this book. Open it anywhere.

Pub Date: Oct. 6th, 1992
ISBN: 0-517-58335-6
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Harmony
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1992




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