Verdict: A punning pastiche of the verbal kitsch of late twentieth/early twenty-first century America, the heavy-handed satire of LEATHER TO THE CORINTHIANS swamps the story.
In a dystopic alternative reality where rampant consumerism makes everyone speak in catch-phrases and slogans, Sell Inc. is waging a war-for-profit between the King and his right-hand man, Commander Thighmaster, and General MacDonald, leader of the rebels, whose army wears clown costumes as uniforms.
The points the author is trying to make are probably already evident, but the points are driven in with a high powered pun gun. The first sections work, but lose their charm by repetition. Between each narrative section is an infomercial-length sales pitch advocating greater consumerism by con artists, which slows the pace and dispels any dramatic tension. Lengthy monologues, rerun jokes, poor character development and sloppy editing don’t help the story much, either.
The illusion is spoiled rather than enhanced by direct, realistic references (John Cusack or the Las Vegas Strip, for example) after enduring the proliferation of whimsical-to-annoying stand-ins and mismatches: Whiney-bago, Kroftians (oversized evil Muppets), Super NoFunDoe, the Krist-figure superhero Big Red J. and his archenemy Lex Lucifer, special sauce (some performance-enhancing, reality-reducing drug for the General’s forces), Breakfast Beer Lite and Junior Death Squad Funtime Walkie Talkie (just to list a few).
Hunter S. Thompson meets Monty Python meets the Marx Brothers meets Naked Lunch, the novel could work if the story wasn’t hidden underneath the attempts to be clever. When the story manages to take center stage, the book finds its footing, albeit with judicious skimming.
A punning pastiche of the verbal kitsch of late twentieth/early twenty-first century America, the heavy-handed satire of LEATHER TO THE CORINTHIANS swamps the story.
Reviewed by Jodi McMaster for IndieReader
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