Monday, April 28, 2008
Noisy Outlaws, Unfriendly Blobs, and Some Other Things That Aren't as Scary, Maybe, Depending on How You Feel About Lost Lands, etc. - review
Noisy Outlaws, Unfriendly Blobs, and Some Other Things That Aren't as Scary, Maybe, Depending on How You Feel About Lost Lands, Stray Cellphones, Creatures from the Sky, Parents Who Disappear in Peru, a Man Named Lars Farf, and One Other Story We Couldn't Quite Finish, So Maybe You Could Help Us Out by Nick Hornby, Neil Gaiman, Jon Scieszka, Jonathan Safran Foer, and more.
This book of short stories has been out for a while. It is pretty damn alluring to a short-attention-span hipster type like me, with its post-comic-book-y super-graphic cover, McSweeney's imprimatur, and featuring all that hot man talent, so I was surprised when I walked past it today and thought, "Now, why didn't I read that?"
Picked it up, flipped around in it a little, and what the heck? I had read it. Not only that, but I liked almost every single one of the short (longest is 38 pages) and decidedly not sweet stories within. Some of them are pretty awesomely dark: there is a mother who dislikes her child ("Seymour's Last Wish" by Sam Swope); there is a monster who actually eats campers ("Monster" by Kelly Link). But there are children (and adults) who think that kind of thing is THE. BOMB.
And I'm going to give those people this book.
Bonuses (would it be a McSweeney publication without bonuses galore?): fold-out map; crossword; introduction by Lemony Snicket; illustrations by Marcel Dzama, Brett Helquist, Jan Van Der Veken, Rachell Sumpter, Lane Smith, Ko-Ko-Kochalka, Peter de Seve; an unfinished story inside the dust jacket, and the funniest dedication since Douglas Adams.