Renee French, Author . Top Shelf $10 (208p) ISBN 978-1891830938

Beautifully written and spare like Beckett, only far, far more entertaining, this book about four rats arguing over a ball of crap has strong indie cred but quietly channels something deeper. Moe and his friend Preston, who suffers from a swollen nose when upset, find a small crap ball, which Aldo cherishes; Moe tries to pretend he and Preston aren't interested so the loser rat will leave their plaything alone. Aldo breaks the ball, and a fat rat with eczema around its nipples persuades him to go on a journey to a mythically large pile of crap to get more. Meanwhile, Moe and Preston play on a corpse while Moe insults Preston's mother. The art is rough black lines on a white background, a stark departure from the author's usual beautifully shaded drawings, and the book resembles a little self-published thing—but the art and binding fit the story completely. Darkly funny and truly excellent, with a hint of the spiritual in its obscenity, it's reminiscent of Anders Nilsen's Dogs and Water but nastier and more likely to make you laugh. The dialogue is truly superb. (May)

Reviewed on: 12/31/2007
Release date: 05/01/2007
Genre: Fiction
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