Monday, October 29, 2012

The Driver's Guide to Hitting Pedestrians

Andersen Prunty's The Driver's Guide to Hitting Pedestrians has to be one of the finest single-author collections of bizarro out there.

The cover and Prunty's hilarious description sold me on the book right away. Then I read it and that was good too. I make smart decisions.

Anwyay, the title story is a wonderful bit of macabre about a contest to see who can injure the most pedestrians. The contest comes complete with an oddball set of rules and a desperate, deranged cast of characters. This story is probably the closest to a standard narrative in the whole book, but it's still wild, weird, and fatalistic.

 "The Laughing Crusade" might be my favorite. After finishing his treatise on the New Anarchist Revolution, a man retreats to his back porch for a beer and a cigarette. He soon stumbles upon the fact that the entire neighborhood is filled with people maniacally laughing and that they're going to crush all the non-laughers. The ending is truly disturbing--images I won't soon forget.

"Princess Electricity" is a surreal journey into a world where one buys loaves of bread with 10 ideas or gets a job by having the name Terry. And some random girl controls all of the electricity.

Every story in here is the real deal--unpredictable, imaginative, often funny. I like the variety in this collection--some of the stories lean toward horror, others toward fantasy, others are straight bizarro. Prunty's an author I can't get enough of.

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