cover image Two Performance Artists Kidnap Their Boss and Do Things with Him

Two Performance Artists Kidnap Their Boss and Do Things with Him

Scotch Wichmann. Freakshow Books, $17.99 trade paper (482p) ISBN 978-0-9910257-0-1

Computer programmers by day, performance artists by night, Larry and Hank live out an alt-com dream in Wichmann’s bright and capacious fiction debut. They meet at a seedy club in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district and immediately become pals; Hank has a passionate “Performance Art Manifesto” and Larry buys in. The only obstacles to bromantic adventure are Hank’s nagging wife, Sherry, and real life, which demands that the duo make a living. They get mind-numbingly boring jobs at a multinational company called Redsoft, run by software mogul Bill Kuntsler. Performance art falls short as the tonic to their boredom, and they begin acting out at work, where Larry finds something like love with a quirky girl called Mouse. The same craving that fuels the duo’s performance art pieces seems to drive their madcap plan to kidnap Kuntsler. Captivity, however, brings its own set of problems, as the chaos, danger, absurdity, and insanity keep ratcheting up. The book’s most entertaining episodes are on trivia, Larry’s family, their performance art, etc. Wichmann’s shaggy novel may be too much of a good thing, but it’s still a good thing. Cheeky and refreshing. (BookLife)