Friday, October 21, 2011

These Books Will Change Your Life - Sex Dungeon For Sale! by Patrick Wensink and Don't Smell The Floss by Matty Byloos.

We know, and probably have even riffed-on the idea previously, we will get the interns on that, that we have a way, both us specifically, and all of us generally, to group things, people, ideas, events, what have you. That there is something inherently human, and maybe even necessary, that drives us to understand and organize things by means of clumping. Personally, we endlessly do this with everything, but certainly with books and writers, and we think this has something to do with the sheer amount we read and our efforts to understand and manage the endless words we consume, and something to do as well with laziness and convenience, two books fall into our laps around the same time and we start thinking almost immediately about their similarities versus say their differences. We want to make sense of the world, we suppose, and so here we find ourselves with two books by two TBWCYL, Inc. favorites, Sex Dungeons for Sale! by Patrick Wensink and Don't Smell The Floss by Matty Byloos, both authors trying to make sense of the world in their own way, yet similarly in that they are absurdist takes on the world, and lean towards the bizarro, a genre we might otherwise avoid, Seinfeld's most excellent bizarro episode not withstanding. The Wensink favors humor, as further evidenced by the recently consumed Black Hole Blues, taking situations that we almost know, or might know, both mundane and scary, buying a house, adultery, corporate marketing, suicide bombers and celebrity, and spinning them through his characters' cracked, and times confused, yet still humanizing, and humane, view the world. Byloos is less focused on humor, yet more absurd in his way in the subtlety of the stories and their ongoing focus on body parts, especially missing body parts, pornography, adultery, again and the ways children view the world around them. He is also different than Wensink in challenging the reader to ask what's real and what's not, with Wensink it's quite real, just off, and different, and manic, whereas Byloos leaves us to weigh what's metaphorical versus real, more darkness than light, and wacked regardless. Both authors though are ultimately about looking at what's around us, but doing so through the lens of fun-house mirrors, charming, but warped, funny, but terrifying, twisted, but filled with the promise of more to come, both on the page and off.

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