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Pseudo-City, by D. Harlan Wilson Book Review | SFReader.com
PseudoCity, by D. Harlan Wilson Genre: Mixed Genre Anthology Publisher: Raw Dog Screaming Press Published: 2005 Review Posted: 7/30/2005 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: 10 out of 10
PseudoCity, by D. Harlan Wilson
Book Review by Susie Hawes
Have you read this book?
Pseudo-City, the new collection of shorts by D. Harlan Wilson, is an absurdist fan's dream. Filled with wit, sartorial splendor and divine insanity, the characters in this novel congregate in a city designed by a madman. They live to annoy one another, gleefully ignoring the socially accepted definition of normalcy with a flair that is, if not inspired, at least very well written. They are eccentric with abandon, but very well dressed. People are referred to as "Follicles" and are definitely not P.C. Neither is suicide. Anyone who commits it will be summarily reincarnated and tortured for the rest of their second life.
The founder of Pseudo-City is an odd man whose past is shrouded in mystery. Not that there aren't theories and histories available, it's just that they are legion and all contradict one another, so no one really knows where he came from. His wife is perfect and available for parties.
This anthology brings us D. Harlan Wilson at his lunatic best in twenty nine tales that will keep you on your toes with fast pacing, unexpected twists and tight, intelligent dialog. Internal logic isn't always obvious in these stories, but it is there. Take for instance, the story, "Hairware, Inc." A young man decides to make a bit of cash. He shaves his sideburns, cleans them up, puts a leash on them and sells them as pets. Next, having spent the profit, he sells first his mustache and eyebrows, then hair stolen from other men. He cleans the hair, cossets and grooms it, and sets up shop. But actions have their consequences. As he is waiting for his first sale, an army of bald-pated men storm the marketplace and attack, demanding their hair back.
Remember what I said about consequences? It appears the men have not been doing right by their hair. The hair want to be pets. A vivid, gory battle ensues between the bald men and the hair, during which the hair gain the upper hand. Viva la revolution!
Pseudo-City is a wonderful ride on the wild side, filled with biting political, social and religious commentary. It touches on the insanity of urban life in general and of the individual in particular, and does so in an often disturbing or silly way that keeps the reader coming back for more. Each tale is a gem worth savoring. I give this book a five. Pick it up.
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