The Sugar Frosted Nutsack

Mark Leyner. Little, Brown, $24.99 (180p) ISBN 978-0-316-60845-9
Sporting an even more eye-catching title than his previous books My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist and the #1 New York Times bestseller Why Do Men Have Nipples? Leyner’s latest is, insomuch as it is about anything, a tale of the gods. Gods like Mogul Magoo, “God of the Breast Implant and God of the Nut Sack”; Fast-Cooking Ali, whose masterpiece is the creation of “Woman’s Ass”; Koji Mizokami, who fashioned the composer Béla Bartók out of his own testicular growth; and the sadistic XOXO, god of Concussions, Dementia, and Alcoholic Blackouts. Their champion is one Ike Karton of Jersey City, N.J., a 48-year-old unemployed butcher, borderline anti-Semite, and favorite of La Felina, the oft-stoned goddess of Humility, despite his constant refrain of “Ike Always Keeps It Simple and Sexy” and his certainty that most women are Mossad agents (“If you’re a married man and you’re reading this, your wife is probably a Mossad agent!”). The story of Ike—his composition and performance of the anthemic “That’s Me (Ike’s Song),” his seduction at the hands of La Felina, and inevitable suicide-by-cop—has been recited by blind bards and feral twins throughout history, and known variously as Ike’s Agony, the Sugar Frosted Nutsack, and another, unprintable, epigram. Only this time, the wicked XOXO has hacked into the book and, in an effort to make it too confusing to read, attempts to contaminate the myth with random offensive outbursts, wearying cliché, and pointless references to the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Robespierre, and Alan Greenspan. But the real question is whether XOXO can possibly make Leyner’s “novel” any weirder than it already is. Every sentence reads like a DMT-induced hallucination, adding up to an anarchic masterpiece of vulgarity, total pandemonium, and cartoonish free association; it may indeed be the craziest book ever written and adventurous readers in search of a seriously batty, one-of-a-kind work of unhinged imagination need look no further. Leyner and Ike Karton are heroes befitting our overloaded age, blurry yesterdays, and fungible times ahead. Agent: Amanda Urban, ICM. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 12/19/2011
Release date: 03/01/2012
Genre: Fiction
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Open Ebook - 126 pages - 978-0-316-19279-8
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