Forum / They didn't like it too much!

  • Better.thumb
    Christopher J. Snyder
    May 16, 02:35am

    "A volume of flash fiction skewers celebrities, politicians, and pop-culture figures of yesteryear[*].

    "McGrouchpants does not hold back in these short works, which include a mix of comic pieces, prose poems, and microstories. There are confessional celebrity monologues, fake advice columns, satirical case histories, Hardy Boys parodies, and a slew of other forms, all of which the author uses to shock and surprise readers into laughter (or some other reaction). Most are no longer than a page, and several are actually shorter than their own titles. A fair number of the pieces revolve around former Vice President Dick Cheney: Cheney claiming to have introduced Ed McMahon and Johnny Carson; Cheney volunteering to serve as a 'human latrine' for troops in Iraq; Cheney recounting the time he ate a bag of goat penises on his front porch with Wilford Brimley. The longest story by far is the 28-page 'A Bite-Sized Piece,'[**] which alternates between a woman’s account of dating an erratic man known as the Argyle Scot and instructions for how to remove a leech from one’s body. A pen name like McGrouchpants is likely to insulate the author from accusations of misanthropy, but even so, the tales aren’t often funny as much as they are petulant or mocking. There’s a palpable animosity directed toward academics, sex workers, and columnist Dan Savage, among others. Every page is a surprise, and there is a certain delight in that. But there is little enjoyment to be had from the stories themselves. The jokes are extremely scatological. Many make sense only on the level of Dada or absurdism. The piece '"Why Christopher Hitchens *Doesn’t* Matter," by George Orwell’s Reincarnation, Now a Six-Year-Old Living Outside Leeds,' for example, reads in its entirety: '"Oh, blimey, guv’nor, he got it all wrong!" ¶ "What are you studying in school?" ¶ "Geography! It's my favorite subject!" ¶ "What do you like to do for fun?" ¶ "Football! Me and me mates like to toss it around!" ¶ "Really?" ¶ "Naw! We hit the pipe!" ¶ The End.'[***] Is that a commentary on Hitchens or Orwell? Or Britain? Or elementary school curriculums? As with most of the pieces, many readers will be left befuddled and slightly annoyed.

    "A bold but confounding collection of short humor pieces."

    [*] What is this, the 1910's? Tall bicycles? It's the '90s, in here! It's the one thing that truly annoyed me. - ed.
    [**] Available on here, too:
    [***] I was kind of disappointed at how this turned out, actually. But why run the whole story? That really irked me -- it's totally contemptuous. Kinda like how they spend so much time during my "Trump" flash-fiction book to even explain what flash fiction *is* ... Jesus, who doesn't know that? Don't like the book, and all, but don't eat up my 250 words with nothing really to speak of *either*, it makes me *and you* look bad, Kirkus:

    Salut! Keep trying.





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