If you are familiar with Rich Bottles’ work then you probably won’t be shocked by anything in this book. However two points if you are not: (1) Shame on you, he is a really good writer and if you like bizarro then you should have read at least one of his works by now. (2) There is a lot of really perverse sex in this book including multiple scenes in Hitler’s Berlin bunker so you have been warned. If you are easily or even not so easily offended this is not the book for you. The trigger alert on the back cover was hilarious and should give you an idea of what the book has in store for you.
I am really glad that Rich put together this compilation as it would have been a shame for any of these stories to not have been (widely) published. It kicks off with “Bitter Night”, a nice Nazisploitation piece that feels like a speculation on how effed up Hitler and his cronies might actually have been. I thought the opening quote before the story was quite apropos.
The author states in the foreward that “There’s No Place Like the Sanitarium” wouldn’t have fit anywhere else but the aborted bizarro Wizard of Oz collection that never saw print but I disagree. I really enjoyed the story and feel that it could be included in any compilation. It really gave me a new perception of Judy Garland even if it is fictional.
“Exciter” was tailor made for me since I grew up with 80s metal and really appreciated all the inside jokes and references.
I had already read “Hamster and Gretel” when it was published in another book and really enjoyed it. It is a creepy one but just as enjoyable here as in the Hamsters! collection where I initially encountered it.
“Unarmed and Dangerous” was a wild ride, I thought it had a really neat storyline and the two main characters were quite interesting. This one really shows the author’s creativity as the main character Thomasina is unlike any other character I’ve run into when reading bizarro material. I was enjoying the story then it took a twist that I totally did not see coming which was great.
“A Town Called Rupture” closes out the book with a bang. The storyline and setting were great, Michael and Patrick were awesome main characters. Once I again I was so engrossed with the story that I didn’t see a plot twist coming at all. I haven’t read much bizarro (if any) set in the old west so the setting was a very nice change of pace. This is another one where the opening quote (this time from Annie Oakley) was quite fitting.