So, it’s kind of becoming a thing for me to head straight to the WordPress reader after publishing a new post to do a search on whatever it is I have just posted about so I can see what others have written about it.
I like to do this especially after posting reviews since I don’t like to read other reviews regarding whatever it is I’m reviewing prior to writing the review…
Anyway, I did exactly that yesterday after posting my review of AND THE HIPPOS WERE BOILED IN THEIR TANKS .
First I did a search on the title and pretty much came back with zippo, except for my review.
Then I did one on Jack Kerouac and a ton of stuff came back on him of course, but nothing regarding the book I just reviewed.
Next came the search for William S. Burroughs.
I found nothing on his relationship with the book, as expected, but I found a whole slew of information about him that I didn’t no otherwise, which was easy because I really didn’t know much about him except that he was an OG Beat, the author of Naked Lunch, a junkie, and a murder.
Quite the portfolio of virtues, no?
So I had fun reading up on him for a while.
But then, all of a sudden, I scrolled upon a post by Zé Burns entitled How I Discovered Bizarro Fiction, and which I have reblogged here (way) down below for your entertainment and instruction…
And a whole new world opened up to me.
I cannot believe I have never heard of Bizarro Fiction before.
After reading Ze’ informative and highly interesting article about how he got turned on to the genre and where he trumpets the virtue of one bizarro writer in particular — Danger Slater, whose book now adorns my Want to Read list — I spent the next several hours digging deeper and deeper into the subject as a result.
What a ride that was.
Here are some description of the genre direct from Bizarro Central:
- Bizarro is like:
- Franz Kafka meets John Waters
- Dr. Suess of the post-apocalypse
- Takashi Miike meets William S. Burroughs
- Alice in Wonderland for adults
- Japanese animation directed by David Lynch
So, to be honest (Now, I’m not saying that I haven’t been honest up to the point… or am I?), I don’t really think the genre is for me.
I mean, I like the idea of it…
Just like I like the idea of low-grade cult movies, which is another comparison of bizarro fiction I found…
But I never, ever watch cult movies.
At least not any more.
Which takes me to where yesterday’s adventure eventually ended up.
When I was a kid growing up in Ashtabula, a lake-front town an hour or so east of Cleveland, there were some pretty bizarre dudes on TV back in the 70s and early 80s that would “perform” severely bizarre/warped skits interspersed and sometimes overlapping with seriously low-grade cultish movies, and/or Three Stooges skits, and/or cartoons.
These bizarre dude were Hoolihan & Big Chuck, The Ghoul, and Superhost… and their sole purpose in life was to lovingly pollute the hearts and minds of every adolescent in the Greater Cleveland area.
And they did.
At least they did of yours truly.
But that was long, long ago and I have long since pretty much turned up my nose to such bizarre, cultish entertainment…
And I expect I may end up doing the same with bizarro fiction.
As you can tell by my review, I didn’t think too highly of his work…
Not because of its highly bizarre, cultish story (it really is a story about bizarre cults)…
But because it was poorly executed in my opinion, one which, as evidenced by the high praise it receives from others elsewhere, seems to be in the minority.
But who knows…
Maybe I’ll like Danger Slater’s work better.
In Zé’s interesting and informative post, of which I reblogged here down below for your entertainment and instruction, hé highly recommends Slater’s HE DIGS A WHOLE [about].
But I’ll probably start off with his novella ROADVOLUTION [about] since its available with Kindle Unlimited.
Hey, I’m not cheap…
I’m cost conscious.
Anyway, I’ll report back to you after I finish the read.
TL;DR: There’s a thing called Bizarro Fiction. I may or may not like it.
Old Town Prague where it all began … (via Wikimedia Commons)
We’ve all had those life-changing discoveries, those moments where we find things we could never imagine living without. Mine came with an obscure, underground small-press genre called bizarro fiction.
In the summer of ’06, I visited Prague with my mother. My reading and writing at the time revolved around fantasy with bits of literary fiction thrown in. But as we explored the art and history of the city, I discovered Surrealism. I was obsessed. These artists and writers became my superheroes. It altered my writing forever. But still, it wasn’t exactly right. So I started my own one-man literary movement.
André Breton, author of “The Surrealist Manifesto” and co-founder of Surrealism (via Wikimedia Commons)
I thought I was real clever. I had invented a genre so unique, so out there, I was sure to be the next André Breton
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