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A painful but thankfully brief blur of pseudo-philosophy drenched in blood, incest and profanity.

It’s apparent from the first few pages that the author–PSM, as he cryptically calls himself–thinks he’s terribly clever, radically meta and provocatively obscene. (The book opens with the following: “Earlier in the evening, millions of sperm were ejaculated from a penis into a vagina. The journey had begun.”) Ultimately, lacking the chops to maintain a coherent narrative, he’s just offensive. The spare, 50-page novella tells the story of Jonathan–aka Marsupial Man–and his girlfriend Sarah. PSM says of the pair, both in the narrative and on the back cover, “Romeo and Juliet they were not.” Jonathan and Sarah are the most dysfunctional of dysfunctional couples: Their relationship is based entirely on unhealthy, often violent sex and a disturbing mélange of psychological, verbal and physical cruelty. Both abuse alcohol and drugs, are unemployed and nearly destitute. One day, they meet their friend TJ, a retired oil-company exec, to “kill something,” hoping that the arbitrary slaughter will yield unforeseen meaning. PSM seems to share his characters’ conviction. He fills the book with random death and destruction in a misguided attempt to wrench meaning from the ashes. Even though the book is mercifully short, readers will be fatigued by PSM’s over-the-top descriptions of rape, sodomy, parricide and, for good measure, a drug-induced double murder. The acts are all senseless, none serving any real narrative purpose–a pointless bloodbath.

Mounds of violence and obscenity, signifying nothing.

Pub Date: March 5th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-595-40871-9
Program: Kirkus Indie
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