Back in January I had a chance to review ST Gulik’s Birth: or The Exquisite Sound of One Hand Falling Off a Turnip Truck, a bizarro novel that I found to contain both all the good things about this genre (a witty, fast-paced narrative, deliberately ridiculous and transgressive in nature) and all the bad (basically, that it feels like a cartoon that’s been written out in story form, and thus contains no stakes since literally anything can happen, making it hard to hold my attention or care about “what happens next”).
Now its sequel is here, Sex: or Busier Than a Three-Legged Cat Trying to Squeeze Blood from the Tip of an Iceberg; and the simultaneous good and bad news is that it’s pretty much exactly page-for-page like the first volume, and in fact feels not really like a standalone book at all, but rather like he wrote both at the same time and simply chopped them in half for the sake of publication. That’s certainly not a bad thing at all, and definitely makes it easy for previous readers to decide whether to take on this new volume as well; but that also leads to me having almost nothing to say about it that I didn’t say last time, which is why you should simply read that previous review to know what I thought of this one too.
Not terrible, not great, this will mostly appeal to those who are already heavy daily readers of bizarro lit, and is not necessarily the book that newbies will want to use to get their feet wet with this fascinating but profoundly uneven genre.
Out of 10: 7.5, or 9.0 for fans of bizarro literature