Monday, 23 January 2012

Review of THE CRUD MASTERS by Justin Grimbol (Eraserhead Press, 2011)

The Crud Masters

The story of two competing gangs, the elite NOLA and eponymous Crud Masters, this novella crossbreeds 1970s exploitation movies—turf wars, sordid sex, a high-tech, dystopian future in which the noble poor are pitted against the undeserving rich—with some classic, Toho-style kaiju action. I love the setting: a coastal tourist hotspot whose waters are alive with giant monsters of every mutation. And, even more, I love the array of filthy yet sympathetic characters, whose perversions and personal habits are akin to those of the characters in a Jordan Krall novel: Boogers, the anti-hero with a nasal spray addiction; Soda Can, the sexbot with a pelvic fire hose; Bovy, the girl with big breasts and an even bigger body odor; Uncle Grandpa, the stubborn old redneck who is neither an uncle nor a grandpa; Pvssy Bear, the bear with…fur. Unlike the characters, the prose is clean. It reads very smoothly, and the narrative moves swiftly, building to a satisfying and gloriously over-the-top climax (the last and largest of many, um, climaxes, I might add). A book which is a distillation of all my favorite movies into sixteen short chapters of non-stop literary bedlam, and one I’ll definitely return to in the high-tech, dystopian future awaiting us all.

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