My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist

Mark Leyner, Author
Mark Leyner, Author Three Rivers Press (CA) $10 (0p) ISBN 978-0-517-57579-6
Reviewed on: 03/01/1990
Release date: 03/01/1990
These 17 loosely linked short stories are intelligent, funny and incredibly bizarre. Though not all are science fiction, each displays a supercharged cyberpunk writing style jam-packed with elements of tabloid journalism, bits of advertising slogans, references to kung fu films, literary allusions, television trivia, deadpan non sequiturs, puns and poetry. The fiercely imaginative Leyner ( I Smell Esther Williams ) announces: ``Dad was in the basement centrifuging mouse spleen hybridoma, when I informed him that I'd enrolled at the Wilford Military Academy of Beauty.'' He also discusses the difficulty of finding a haberdashery near the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries shipyard and speculates on a televised encounter between Tennessee's youngest member of the House of Representatives and 17th-century metaphysician Baruch Spinoza. Squads of displaced, armed and dangerous combatants inhabit a young boy's bedroom in the marvelous ``In the Kingdom of Boredom, I Wear the Royal Sweatpants.'' It's an exuberant, adventurous and audacious collection. Some of the pieces were originally published in Esquire, Harper's and Fiction International , among other magazines. (Apr.)
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