Crust

Lawrence Shainberg, Author, Michael Flanagan, Illustrator . Two Dollar Radio $15 (228p) ISBN 978-0-9763895-8-3

In this postmodern satire set several years in the future, noted intellectual Walker Linchak, author of landmark books about AIDS and 9/11, finds a way out of writer’s block through a surprising act: picking his nose. Linchak discovers a euphoria that provokes him to blog about the activity, and the blog, of course, becomes immensely popular. Sara, Linchak’s young editor wife, catches on to the joys of rhinotillexis and convinces the media conglomerate she works for to create a mass market campaign to ride the wave of this new social phenomenon. Even George W. Bush gets in on the act; nose-picking has allowed him to be authentic and truthful in a way he couldn’t be during his administration. This is a psychotically narrow pseudo-intellectual romp, filled with pop-cultural references and technology gone wild. The author makes a convincing connection between uninhibited nose picking and the proliferation of the quick fix in a media-saturated world, though Shainberg has trouble in the third act, and the novel sputters to a conclusion that’s too goofy even for a book with a finger up its nose . (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 07/21/2008
Release date: 10/01/2008
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