Verdict: ESCAPE FROM DORKVILLE is a deliciously insane, mischievously funny bit of science fiction fluff - just what the inter-dimensional plumber ordered to liven up a dull day.
A pair of humans, an intergalactic plumber, a puffin, and an Ergonomics and Fiscal Engineer must journey to find the All and Everything in order to save the universe from drying out.
Wilkin Delgado and Alice Jane Zelinksi have just gotten back to Warrensberg, Minnesota after helping a plumber named Cardamon Webb and a puffin named Loretta, and others plug a hole in the universe. But now Webb has asked for their help again. Apparently, the universe is drying up, and it is necessary to make a pilgrimage to the All and Everything in order to restore the flow of fresh water from the Source.
ESCAPE FROM DORKVILLE is an absurdist delight, full of oddball characters and surreal situations. Ammerman’s snarky sense of humor, and a vigorous plot driven by one bizarre event after another, keep the book lively and amusing from beginning to end. Whether it’s an attack by vicious grazing animals who can only be soothed by Canadian folk music, or the perils of travel by Suck-Up, the author’s imagination never fails. Regular switches between the story’s two narrators provide a double perspective on the action, keeping the story from getting bogged down by one character’s prejudices or perceptions. Even the main characters, though, are never quite sure of what’s going on, and there are new surprises around every corner. This is a book to be devoured in one sitting, as it is short, sweet, and very difficult to put down.
The story succeeds with over-the-top caricature for the most part. However, the author does at times harp on characters’ main personality quirks a bit too much, enough so that the excessive repetition dampens the joke. Alice Jane’s high opinion of her own physical appearance, for example, is repeated ad nauseam, as is Glandoria’s egotistical self-preening.
ESCAPE FROM DORKVILLE is a deliciously insane, mischievously funny bit of science fiction fluff – just what the inter-dimensional plumber ordered to liven up a dull day.