cover image League of Somebodies

League of Somebodies

Samuel Sattin. Dark Coast (Ingram, dist.), $18.95 (400p) ISBN 978-0-9850355-0-1

Sattin's debut novel is a hilarious satire on manliness and superhero culture. Based on the teachings of the esoteric Manaton, a mysterious book that concerns all things manly%E2%80%94from shaving body hair to attract specific types of females, to domesticating wild rhinoceroses%E2%80%94Fearghas, a gruff and foul-mouthed Scottish-Jewish-Polish immigrant, raises his son Lenard to be the pinnacle of masculinity: a real-life superhero. To aid in Lenard's development, Fearghas has been secretly slipping low doses of plutonium in Lenard's food and subjecting him to numerous tests and initiations into manhood%E2%80%94all of which are laid out in the Manaton, including the final test of besting a group of lions to save a damsel in distress. Fearghas has done all this to his son because a malevolent and shadowy group is threatening their safety, a group known simply as T.H.E.Y. After his father's death and with a confrontation with T.H.E.Y looming, Lenard must train his own son in the ways of the Manaton, a task at which he is far less adept than his own father. Sattin is genuinely funny and writes exuberant, engaging prose; the addition of the cheeky and light-hearted send-up of masculinity and its ridiculous tendencies makes this novel insightfully inquisitive and a pleasure to read. (Apr.)