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Ceridwen

Ceridwen

You kids get off my lawn. 

Super Giant Monster Time! (Choose Your Own Mind-Fuck Fest #3) - Jeff Burk Not that I have a ton of experience with bizarro fiction, but this seems like a reasonably good place for someone to start. The very little of bizarro I've read has a gonzo, pulp sensibility, and likely any given reader's first introduction to such a literary beast was in the choose-your-own-adventure books. (Or, possibly just this given reader. I don't know about kids these days - which, you may get off my lawn, please - but I certainly had a really good love/hate going with them as a kiddie - much like my feelings about Encyclopedia Brown. I checked out tons of them, paging through keeping as many fingers between the pages as I could so I could go back and trace the path to not-my-inevitable-death. The choose-your-owns were always so much more lurid than your average miserablist kiddie fare though - this stuff did not have a moral - aside from really hard to parse things like "don't open that hatch" - and existed for plot-driven thrills alone. Aliens! Ghosts! And in one super memorable instance, Atlantis!)

The art in this book is fucking awful - like enragingly bad - but I can't discount the possibility that it is intentionally awful - harkening back to kiddie art I, and so many others, enacted in our fannish youths. I had this friend in the 7th grade whose much older brother was doing time in Stillwater prison for stealing a bread truck while drunk, and we pen-palled with him for the year or so of his sentence. Silly girly stuff mostly, and he responded with badass drawings of cougars and dragons - really sweetly boss stuff - and in my kinder moments, this art reminds me of that. But it's one thing from Ronny K., near juvenile delinquent and friend, and another thing from a published book.

The writing is fair to poor, but I give massive props to several recursive loops that I ran into, because I loves me a recursive loop. And when I say the writing is fair to poor, that's on some kind of litterachur scale that probably has no place here. It's wacky and nuts, and is full of giant monsters and silly stuff, and much of the oddness put a smile on my face. So, a fun book, but probably not going to blow your mind. It did make me nostalgic in a weird way, for a time when I was less impatient while reading, hurtling toward the payoff of a more linear narrative. My arthritic hands can't bookmark the pages like they used to.