An ambitious book offers an amalgam of opinion, satire, and character sketch.
Armed with a brain-teasingly bizarre title that foretells its peculiar contents, this volume features a chorus of quirky voices chanting messages of solidarity, gay pride, and anti-homogeneous individualism. The book opens with an anonymous woman’s exquisitely sarcastic rant parodying a social media outlet (“Fakebook”), accusing it of “destroying friendship,” and musing over the digital impermanence of modern culture and communication. She considers herself an “incredible fag hag.” After pondering the significance of fetishes and Nueva Jork life, she acerbically introduces her artistic, gay “fiend-frienemy” Noloso Chushingura and launches a literary fever-dream of colorfully dizzying co-narrators and their sordid escapades. Noloso is a man who is abandoning his longtime residence in “Disneyfied” Nueva Jork for his childhood home, Mucha Nieve. Unsatisfied still, he flees there for wintry “Palin-town,” where no-nonsense, pragmatic Pavlina Perestroika gets into a mysterious 1975 Buick Regal and begins an otherworldly journey to another land yet returns just in time for Bobby Bluetooth’s comedy set at a nearby cafe. Readers searching for some cohesive link to the stories and their kaleidoscope of curious characters may become dumbfounded by the time lesbian Koontessa Klarissa Koontberger introduces her two adopted children “of indeterminate sexuality.” Giovanni Zsazsasky exchanges gay bars for eBay shopping as the ultimate “go-to pacifier in moments of thumb-sucking sadness,” and wand-waving superheroine Dolores The Day-Glo Drag Queen issues orders commanding the end of abusive Jean-Nette The Jet Lag Fag Hag’s life. This is the third book by Canadian fiction writer and visual artist Bird (Hideous Exuberance, 2013, etc.). Thankfully, lurking beneath all of the snarky commentary and cheekiness are honest reflections of contemporary society, including the gay community’s struggle to vanquish shame and the much-protested incremental gentrification of major metropolitan areas. Not all of this oddly creative volume works, however, with some sections dissolving into garbled gibberish and others becoming overpowered by all of Bird’s slapdash wackiness. Overall, the book’s unconventional spellings, sentence fragments, line-drawn chapter headings, and haiku work well in unison to create a devilishly original tableau of true outlandishness with a conscience.
An offbeat work of carnivalesque proportions, populated by zany, outspoken, and eccentric personalities.