cover image Eddie’s Week

Eddie’s Week

Patrick Dean. Birdcage Bottom, $14 (196p) ISBN 978-1-73315-092-7

Dean lays out a cataclysmically strange week for hapless protagonist Eddie in his surreal debut. A platoon of city workers charge into Eddie’s apartment and a blithely chipper bureaucrat announces he has been made part of a new program that deals with prison overcrowding by housing inmates with citizens. Though Eddie’s new roommate Randall sports the charming nickname “The Backstabber,” the two get along well enough. But complications increase as Randall’s lurking presence keeps Eddie from romancing a date and breaks into his usual schedule of napping and watching werewolf movies. Eddie is knocked from one absurdist situation (getting swept up in the silly yet slightly malevolent and pun-loving Living Bearly Club) to another (being framed for murder) with herky-jerk pacing. The forces surrounding Eddie have a stoner joke quality to them that keeps the comic from tipping into the noir territory that Dean’s shadowy and claustrophobic art implies. Though the leap from oddball nightmare into straight magic takes proceedings in an unexpected direction, for the most part Dean delivers a winningly comedic scenario. The result runs like Kafka as interpreted by the Three Stooges. (Sept.)