Zack Wentz - Vulgar, hallucinatory vision of America - not just decaying but coming apart in sped-up time lapse photography, swelling, groaning

Zack Wentz, The Garbageman and the Prostitute (Chiasmus Press, 2006)

«The Garbageman And The Prostitute, the first novel by Zack Wentz, is by turns punishingly stark and wildly lyrical, grimly humorous and deadly serious. An eerie, genre-bending tour de force, Wentz has crafted a Menippean satire echoing the envelope-pushing pulp fiction of Philip K. Dick, Cornell Woolrich and Jim Thompson, as well as the seminal literary innovations of Franz Kafka, William Faulkner and Alain Robbe-Grillet.»

"A sensuous riot of language, perverse and outrageous-a wild, gonzo-porn excavation of some wicked, post-futurist landscape rendered with such scatological precision you can practically see the buildings sweat"— Matthew Derby

«One can find joy in the rambling passages of Fitzgerald, satiety inside Plath, decisiveness in Gibran and clarity in Burroughs. That is, if one is high enough to find them.
The Garbageman and the Prostitute, the first novel by Kill Me Tomorrow drummer-vocalist Zack Wentz, isn't so much a novel. Rather, it's a very clever and methodical collection of interconnected short stories that take place within some clusterfucked, post-apocalyptic world that sounds like a really good day in Nevada.
In Wentz' world, the president of the United States may or may not be a serial killer, and the protagonists are retards and gumshoes that piss blood. Y'know, light reading.
The only order in The Garbageman's world is the bits of lint and dead street that hang on our author's mind. Wentz is verbose, but when it comes to seediness, we need basic and blunt force along the lines of Baitalle and McCarthy. Wentz succeeds in this only by being fluid one minute and seemingly out of his mind the next. His writing seduces you slowly, as if taking your literary virginity.
To Wentz, water and sustenance are secondary. Writing literature, like all gifts, isn't worth it if you don't die a little bit inside.» - Seth Combs

«The Garbageman and the Prostitute, out on local publishing company Chiasmus, shows a distopian America where the shit has hit the fan and we're all getting splattered in crud. Phantom children with holes for eyes thump their chests and flash knives in the street. Clones of the plain talkin', salt-of-the-earth president lurk in alleys with bloody claws and moony, you-can-trust-me grins. The world's foremost porn star hides out in her breast-shaped compound, gets loaded on pills and canned beer, and fucks the diseased, beat-down PI hired to flush out her supernatural stalker.
And to hell with the current, neo-puritanical publishing scene—Zack Wentz's (also of the punk bands Kill Me Tomorrow and Tender Buttons) writing is full of ecstatic rim jobs, penile discharge that looks and smells like soy sauce, and bodies filleted like mackerel on every charred, ruined, graffiti-scarred corner. The obscenity and fun picks up fast (first page in) and rolls hard into campy, savage, porn horror—spraying pulpy violence, sex, and excess across 179 pages (which are illustrated Ralph Steadman-style by Wentz's wife and Kill Me Tomorrow band-mate K8 Wince.)
So far, Wentz's debut has been compared to weighty countercultural icons like Kathy Acker, Philip K. Dick, and Pynchon, while the critical response (and back cover blurbs) come packing complimentary pipe bombs that most young, ambitious authors would murder for—or at least fantasize about and get real bitter about later in life. Because where a lot of writers can put together a pretty sentence, Wentz can make 'em ugly and chaotic, and the bloody phlegm he spits down is hard to look away from. ("Chaos is the score upon which reality is written," said Henry Miller.)
As chick lit and reactionary fundamentalist novels flood the market, Wentz's book can be seen as a throbbing, pus-slick canker on American lit's limp and wrinkled cock. It's a vulgar, hallucinatory work, a vision of an America not just decaying but coming apart in sped-up time lapse photography, full color, swelling, aching, groaning, 60 hot seconds from busting open and gushing warm, pink, steaming guts and bright green bile all over our clean, white sidewalks.» - Adam Gnade

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