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on March 31, 2013 :
Combining the low-brow humor of Bigfoot in love (with a Bigfoot impersonator), sci-fi antics that remind me of Men in Black, and a wealth of musical references from Elvis to the Beatles and beyond, Noah Baird’s Donations to Clarity donates lots of fun to the cause of the oddly unclear, and is a thoroughly enjoyable read, laugh-out-loud funny but not-in-front-of-the-children.
I don’t normally enjoy clever quotes from American song lyrics—perhaps being English means I feel like I’m missing the joke. But this author gets around my culture shock very quickly and easily. His references are so neat and well-placed I test myself as I read, eager to spot the next set of lyrics and catch the clue; will I guess before I read where it’s really come from? Musical quotes feed very naturally into a truly zany story, with rat race, government, media and more all coming under an enjoyably critical scrutiny.
The psychiatrist wonders why a patient speaks of the outside in mythical terms. A short-sighted bigfoot makes friends with a patient who lights his cigarettes. A get-rich-quick schemer wishes his girlfriend wasn’t so determined to change him. And a nervously fake she-bigfoot hopes her erstwhile lover won’t change her/him too much.
Drugs, alcohol, guns, darts and conspiracy theories combine. Government agents are charged with the task of eliminating witnesses. Song lyrics, random factoids and clever narration all add to superb inner dialog—no wonder E. Jean Carroll, Emmy nominated writer for Saturday Night Live, recommended women throw this volume at the men in their lives… But luckily not all men in this book are as hapless as they seem, and there’s hope, even for Bigfoot (and impersonators) after all.
Disclosure: I won a copy of this book by suggesting a suitably awful title for an 80s girl rock band in a competition.
(reviewed the day of purchase)