rating: 5 of 5 stars
Eminem once said "I am whatever you say I am" and the bold title of Mykle Hansen's book stands out as an unintentional echo of this statement for the Bizarro community. Provocateurs? Yup. Obsessed with sex and poo jokes? So was Dali. There is a triumphant shamelessness to the title of the book that resounds through its pages. If Mykle Hansen needed to eat puppies for breakfast to be himself, he would rap the table and scream "waiter, more puppy sauce!" These three novellas in the same place combine like robot lions into a samurai of glorious filth. The first of the three and my favorite, Monster Cocks, explores manhood, porn, self image and our emasculating modern world while at the same time presenting a tragic love story. Imagine Little Shop of Horrors with a sentient penis in a world of corporate tedium. Even if you can, you still haven't gotten a handle on what Hansen's voice and humor can do with the premise. The second Journey to the Center of Agnes Cuddlebottom, and my least favorite of the three concerns the colonization (or should I say colon-ization...spelled too similar! Doesn't work in print. Way to kill the joke, English language!) and exploration of an 80 year old prostitute's ass and the travails and triumphs of an eager scientist, a mercenary chimp and a plucky, very opportunistic Starbucks. A great exploration of greed, opportunism and our unbeatable desire for enterprise. Lastly, but certainly not least comes the delightfully chaotic and painfully visceral Crazy Shitting Planet. This story concerns a race of filthy, poverty stricken survivors on a planet covered in the excrement and garbage of a race of floating fat people. In part, it's reminiscent of Jeunet and Caro's Delicatessen with some South Park and straight, old school surrealism thrown in. It's a surprisingly cutting and very timely look at poverty, love, hope and ambition that defies description. Fantastic stuff all around. Hansen is dark, funny, smart and willing to defy our culture's perceptions of mature art in favor of the hard stuff. Humorless robots and lit fic loving schoolmarms need not apply.
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