I’ve been trying to get a better handle on what’s been going on in the bizarro scene and also trying to partner with other bizarro authors to spread the word. So I recently read Andersen Prunty’s Overwhelming Urge and wrote a review of it:

The Overwhelming Urge has a certain underlying rhythm to it, like the dots and dashes of an SOS distress call. These shorts roll over the reader, wave upon wave, drawing a haplessly logical audience further from shore or any other recognizable reference point. Is it reasonable to wake up with laser beam eyes? Perhaps. Does it follow that if everyone in a village was named Johnson, and they didn’t have first names, then you’d have to refer to them by their house numbers? Well that does seem logical, doesn’t it?

Andersen’s style is spare, almost apologetically polite. However his topics are often violent, perverse or gross creating a perpetual awkward moment that can only be relieved with behind-the-hand giggling. The best thing about this collection is that you absolutely never know what’s going to be around the next period. I just dare you to guess! There are lots of surprises and, though the stories are short, there’s a lot to think about. For instance the titles often seem unobtrusive but once you’ve read the story they take on new and surprising meaning.

The Overwhelming Urge is a must-read for anyone who enjoys the work of D. Harlan Wilson or bizarro fiction in general. However people who like intricate or predictable plotting and complex characters will not find much to sustain them.

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