Thursday, December 22, 2011

Beyond the Valley of the Apocalypse Donkeys

I'm obsessed with Jordan Krall's BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE APOCALYPSE DONKEYS. Obsessed. I've been a fan of Krall's since I picked up his filthy, sleazy, crazy, pulpy, ode to New Jersey and film noir, SQUID PULP BLUES. I adored his Lovecraftian pornographic love letter, PIECEMEAL JUNE. And the yellow-y Spaghetti western goodness that is FISTFUL OF FEET. I wanna get a dog and name it Fauntleroy 'Little Bing Bong' LeRoux, such is my love for Jordan Krall's work. But before I start drinking his bath water, let me try to put into words why I love these fucking books so much.

BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE APOCALYPSE DONKEYS is...well, maybe I should talk about what it contains, rather than what it is, specifically. It's got a nudist colony, a giant green hummingbird, a much sought after rare VHS of a strange film, incomplete childhood memories, murder, voyeurism, plenty of violence, a naked donkey-masked woman (and later, women, plural), a washed-up old daredevil, the corruption of marriage, sex, and pancakes, plenty of pancakes, plain and blueberry.

All these things are great alone (come on, pancakes and sex and rare films!?) - put them together in Krall's slummy New Jersey universe and you have fucking gold, my friends. And if you have a thing for boobs, which I know you do, you get plenty of boobs here, too. Bonus.

But it's not all fetishes and weird shit. Although really it is, and then some. There's some real homage going on here and if you possess the same sensibilities, it's easy to see where and what Krall is channeling. But he does it in a way that is solely his own, creating what is not merely homage, but an amalgamation of all the things I love into something completely new and even more bizarre. There's a variety of influences/references - David Lynch, Russ Meyer, Tim Lucas' THROAT SPROCKETS, Tarantino, Hitchcock, melodrama, film noir, John Waters, giallo, old school VHS culture, and SMALL fuckin' WONDER. And to think there's time for donkeys! Or at least, donkey-masked women! If that could be considered an 'at least.'

I haven't given you much to go on really, which I'm okay with. Because I'm half-way through my second reading and I'm still actually trying to still make sense of it all. could say it's part mystery or part love story, but isn't everything? I've ordered the t-shirt and I'm going to wear it while I try to figure out what it is that needs figuring out, or if I don't, that's okay too because I like the getting there. Although I hear Jordan is renouncing this whole noir crime horror writing thing and focusing on foot fetish erotica. I'd still read it and probably not hate it. I'd probably really like it a lot. And it probably wouldn't be too different from his other work. Less squid maybe?

Buy this fucking book now! You need to read more books, anyway.


  1. I hate everyone because you don't comment on books. What is it about you assholes that can't comment on books? You don't fucking read? Fuck you, then. You should read. Otherwise, you are fucked.

    With all due respect, I love you all and just think you should read more.

  2. Already got it ordered, as you had me at Tarantino refrences!

    Not sure if this is classed in the same genre as other "Bizarro Fiction", as frustratingly there's not even a wikipedia article about the book or author.

    Totally with you on the idea that people should read more, but then folks should also use thier local bookstores more, rather than Amazon seeing how I got fired when Borders UK closed down two christmas's ago, meaning that I went from my dream job, to listening to people scream at me about thier darn cable.

    Still I digress....thanks for the author plug :)

  3. Jenn: thank you so much for the review!

    Elwood, Thanks for the interest!
    Most of my books are indeed in the bizarro genre … and someone DID make wiki page for me but it was taken down for some reason. I have three other books out from Eraserhead Press which is the biggest publisher of bizarro. If you like Tarantino, you’d probably dig Squid Pulp Blues (bizarro crime fiction) and Fistful of Feet (bizarro spaghetti western)

  4. GREAT review Jenn...the limited edition hc of this is one of my most prized possessions...

    1. Thanks, Nick. Let's convince Jordan to go to an East Coast convention so we can get all our books signed :)