I have a varying amount of tolerance for so-called “bizarro” literature, because of so much of it being so zany and non-narrative, essentially a written version of a cartoon with no stakes or consequences and thus difficult to get engaged in or care about what happens. And Eddie Wright’s newest novel, Korsakoff Blight, is a bit guilty of this too; but thankfully he turns in a more grounded story than most other bizarro novels, one that at least has a coherent plot and real-feeling characters doing real-feeling things. It’s the tale of our eponymous hero, a frustrated writer whose life suddenly gets more complicated with the death of his father, also named Korsakoff Blight and who turns out to have been living just a few doors down from Korsakoff Jr. for years, despite his parents being divorced and his father having no communication with him since he was a child. It’s while exploring this house that Korsakoff Jr. has just inherited that he starts stumbling across stranger and stranger details — a hidden room in the basement, a half-finished detective/philosophy novel — and as more and more of Korsakoff Sr.’s acquaintances start coming out of the woodwork, enveloping Korsokoff Jr. into a surreal conspiracy theory involving alt-realities and mind-erasing designer drugs, Korsakoff Jr. loses more and more of his grip on what’s reality and what’s dream, experiencing what’s either blackout periods that last literally for years or perhaps jumping back and forth in the space/time continuum itself.
It’s a small and interesting story that’s easy to read yet packs in a lot of deep thoughts, basically David Lynch crossed with Paul Auster and wrapped in a Road Runner cartoon; and while that’s certainly not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, this is well worth the time of those who enjoy the fringe edges of genre literature, and especially those who like stories that messily mesh together weird tales with science-fiction. It comes with a hearty recommendation today to those specific people, although others can safely skip it with the knowledge that they’re not missing out on much.
Out of 10: 8.0, or 9.0 for fans of bizarro lit