Outré

D. Harlan Wilson. Raw Dog Screaming, $14.95 trade paper (126p) ISBN 978-1-947879-20-1
Wilson’s reach exceeds his grasp in his experimental latest (after The Psychotic Dr. Schreber). In an “avant-futuristic” world called the schizoverse, where the line between reality and film has blurred completely, an aging actor slowly morphs into a Godzilla-esque Kaiju. The absurdist narrative quickly loses itself in a gimmicky structure; the story unfolds in brief, kaleidoscopic bursts, each given titles like “Singularity” and “Benzos.” Wilson litters the work with film lingo and pop culture references, and is at his best when describing graphic pop imagery and offering critiques of contemporary media. But he shrouds these gems in confusion and ineffective satire: people communicate via dumbphones, celebrity graves serve as roadside attractions, and the protagonist—realizing that “even movie stardom doesn’t always pay the rent”—takes “a side gig as the Vice President of the United States.” Wilson’s scattered, hallucinatory novel offers nuggets of insight and plentiful indulgences for film buffs, but readers will have to be willing to wade through some murky waters to find them. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 08/28/2020
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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