Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Yes, there are some laugh-out-loud moments, but on the whole, the thing makes you want to punch Leyner in his own sugar frosted nutsack. If you do decide to read this, do so in small chunks — and be sure to warn your family what you're up to.
Here's the deal: The "novel" is a meta-meta-fiction about an epic titled (what else?) The Sugar Frosted Nutsack, which chronicles the life of one Ike Karton, a 47-year-old butcher who lives in New Jersey. Each time The Sugar Frosted Nutsack is performed — and it's done so frequently by what Leyner refers to hundreds of times as "vagrant, drug-addled bards," everything that happens in that actual recital of the epic must be included in the next recital of the epic. So there's a lot of repetition here to make that point, and also to purposely annoy the reader.
Oh yeah, and so there's also a collection of gods, who we meet at the beginning of the novel and who live on the top floor of the Burj Khalifa (the world's tallest building) in Dubai, pulling the strings of the world (one great Leyner line: "Fate is the ultimate pre-existing condition"), having sex with each other and humans, and doing a hallucinogenic drug called Gravy (which they sometimes sell to Ike's daughter's boyfriend). One of the gods, named XOXO, often messes with reality (and, hence, the epic) by etching people's brains (figuratively...or is it?) with a periodontal curette.
So part of the point of this meta-mess (other than to alternately piss you off and make you laugh), is that it seems to be some sort of send-up of organized religion — how the Bible, doctrine, religious ritual came to be. There's also a whisper of Zen here — only that which can be observed is real. And there are a lot — and I mean a freakin' LOT — of jokes (did you know Dick van Dyke's real name is Penis van Lesbian...but he had to change it for showbiz sake?)...and wildly off-beat tangents...and just general goofiness.
So, two stars — one for the title itself, and one more for the rest. Enjoy at your own risk!
Posted by Greg Zimmerman at 10:28 AM