Thursday, May 31, 2012

Tentacle Death Trip

I've sung bizarro author Jordan Krall's name in these hallowed halls of perversion before and yes, I'll sing them once again, for I have just finished his latest novel, TENTACLE DEATH TRIP. It might seem a little over the top, but yeah, I'm wearing the t-shirt of the cover art while I write this. Hey, when I like something, I REALLY like something. Hence the copious amounts of tattoos and cats. Anyway...

Do you like DEATH RACE 2000? What about LOVECRAFT? MAD MAX? ACCION MUTANTE? Fast cars, ultra-bitchy women with pink sledgehammers, biomechanical violence from beyond any sort of experience? How about the occult? Sex slaves? Cross-dressing sex slaves? No? Oh well. Your loss. Read on.

TDT is the story of five drivers hired by the mysterious Mr. Silver, the last millionaire in the post-apocolytic world of New Jersey. Samson, the loner hellbent on finding his son after losing him to bikers ten years previous, Gabby, the aforementioned cunt with the pink sledgehammer, Mama Hell, a Christian fat ass in a mini-van who wears a vest of tattooed human flesh, Junko, a former cross-dressing Asian sex slave in a beat-up Honda Civic, and Drac Dunwhich, a strange glass-skulled maniac who drives a sentient tentacled car.

It's a fight to the death as these five take on the apocalyptic landscape of 2025 New Jersey. Tooth tornados, poisonous crabs, cannibal zealots, the evil Lord Bing Bong, marauders, nuclear mutants, and all sorts of other atrocities, leading them all to the city of R'lyeh. Truly terrifying, but somehow captivatingly beautiful in its horror.

The weirdos and madmen that populate the Wasteland account for most of the entertainment here. The plot is very simple - a race to the death, winner gets all the food and gasoline he or she wants, plus a nice place to live without chaos. The novel, however, is very character driven, and it's in our specific getting to know each of the characters and what drives them is what makes this the most fun. I guess you could say that about most any character driven work, but here, it's very true. The characters are damaged, fucked up, insane, and have had to endure atrocities unlike any worst nightmare. Why not race to the death for one last chance at salvation (of sorts)?

I've probably said this before after reading each new Krall release, but it warrants repeating - I think Krall is at his absolute finest here. He's written a very tight and entertaining novel populating it with all the things I love about weird movies, Lovecraft, religious satire, and ultra-violence, amongst many other things too copious to mention. The homage is a the ultimate compliment and here it is has become the ultimate art form. Whether he's trying to gross you out or trying to get you to think, he's on point here. I've never come across an author with such similar sensibilities to my own. It's like, how do you get inside my head and make all this great writing come out in this way? I know I haven't really done it justice here, but I'm humbled by it nonetheless.

Read this novel.


  1. It sounds great! I'll definnitely have to buy this as soon as I finih what I'm reading. ...unfortunately, I happen to be reading the Game of Thrones series,-I'll be stuck on them for ages! haha!

  2. You had me at "Death Race"! The characters remind me alot of the drivers from the "Twisted Metal" series and it's really just another reason for me check out Krall's work, which like anything to do with the Bizzaro-fiction genre is long overdue.

    I guess my main reason for this delay being that the plots seem to be focusing largely on being as batshit insane as possible, with reviews focusing on these points rather than the more important factors such as the writing style or plot construction. It's for this reason that it is, Kind of a good thing then that the genre has yourself writing these sorts of reviews to try and make the genre more accessable.

  3. Jenn: Jeez, you make this one sound great! Your excitement is contagious. I think it was the images brought to mind by the concept of "tooth tornadoes" that sold me.