Saturday, July 20, 2013

Thunderbird by Jon Konrath

Where the hell did this dude come from?

Just the titles are jaw-dropping: "The Long John Silver Vinegar Douche Abortion Attempt Situation," "Bearded Women Shitting on Glass Tables Is Sort of My Thing," "Vehicular Handjobs and Pirate Hooks," "Fratboy Brad and the Clamato Aquarium of Doom."

From that you should know whether this book is for you.

Each story is from a first-person perspective--the narrator being some version of the author. The effect is that this reads more like a novel, except without a plot and only one character instead of a cast of characters. Nevertheless, the result is remarkably cohesive, each story a gallon of gonzo, fever dream insanity inside of a Sizzler's buffet of obscure American cultural references.

It's hard to put my finger on why this book is so damn good, but I think part of it is the details Konrath mines. Check out the opening line to "The Manuel Noriega/Yo Yo Ma UFC Matchup": "I was playing miniature golf with Diane Keaton and Kim Jong Il in a Dubai Montgomery Ward store and we stopped to eat a sheet cake off the ass of Orson Welles, meticulously decorated by a Kroger cashier to say 'Shove it up your cunt/you are so dumb' in thick gel frosting letters."


Soon as I finished Thunderbird I wanted to re-read it. Instead I went out and got another collection of his short stories, Fistful of Pizza, which was every bit as good.

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