John the Revelator awakens in a cave with no memory of his prior life. Guided along El Camino de la Muerte by a demented madman and a philosophical giant, John sets out on a quest to fill in his blank slate and slough off the rot of his soul. Part dark comedy road trip, part spiritual quest, and part horror story, Sloughing Off the Rot is literary alchemy about John's transformation from repugnant wretch to reluctant hero.
©2012 Vicious Galoot Books, Co. (P)2015 Vicious Galoot Books, Co.
The only caveat I would extend, prior to recommending this book is that it is quease-inducingly gross, pretty often. Now, that is not to say that it isn't necessary to the telling of the tale, it just means that you may not want to be eating, while reading. Honestly, though, I would totally recommend the book, for its intelligent word-play, and its in-your-face storyline. I found the messianic overtones really interesting.
Oh my, there are plenty! I think when you realize that there are more layers to the tale than what the protagonist understands, it's a pretty memorable moment. Some of the memorable scenes need to be experienced first hand by the reader, and not projected ahead of time. Much of the novel defies description.
I have listened to another book he's narrated. I admire Vasicek's "clean" reading of a novel - he doesn't telegraph that an event is about to happen, in a way that ruins the suspense. He is pleasant to listen to. With this particular book, there are scenes that would have caused an audible cringe, from many narrators, and he didn't do that. Admirably, he has a range of character voices that make listening to dialogue from the novel easy to follow, as well.
I'm pretty sure the blumpkins make this an unmarketable movie... the CGI costs would be astronomical, and they'd have to ditch the bestiality, to get an MPAA rating
I want to reiterate how insanely clever this story was. The author works song lyrics and other quotable soundbites into the dialogue in a really amusing way. It is both humorous and frightening. There are echoes of messiah fables, Wizard of Oz, Heart of Darkness, all with a very fresh (and at the same time fetid) voice. Quite well done.
This is the second time I read Carbuncle and I think he has such an enjoyable style. I read this in a particularly stressful week and it did make me laugh out loud, so the timing couldn’t be more appropriate. His previous novel “Smashed” is all strange, humorous and unique — that’s why I love it — but this one manages to be even more twisted. Sick is the best word to define it, I think. How was he able to transform such a simple plot (troubled-hero-embarks-on-a-self-discovery-journey-where-he-meets-random-people-who-change-him) into such a lysergic experience? The plot had nothing spectacular about it, but similarly to Smashed, what conquered me in this book was the humor, the craziness, the adrenaline and the fact that I could relate with John on so many levels (ok, that’s just embarrassing).
I usually don’t prefer writing over plot, there needs to be some sort of equilibrium. I’ve read authors who wrote brilliantly about things that made me want to erase my memory and, for that reason, I wouldn’t consider them perfect. I’ve read authors who executed a great idea so poorly that I felt sorry for the death of the idea involved. I’ve also read writers like John Fowles who are able to transform a nice concept into a masterpiece. These are my favorite types of authors. And then there are people who can start from a completely ordinary plot and still amaze me because the writing is so special I just can’t help being addicted to it. Lance Carbuncle falls into this last category.
"Sloughing off the rot" is somewhat similar to Nick Hornby's "About a boy". There are musical references, the narrative isn’t pretentious and the main character is extremely likable, despite all his flaws (and he has many). Also, there’s something childish about him, perhaps because he is a man without a past. But "Sloughing" is way crazier. And funnier.
Overall, a very authentic and creative novel that managed to amuse me in the middle of a brutal week. 4 out of 5 stars.
YES! The writing is fantastic, the story is creative, and Michael's voice makes me tingle a little behind the ears.
Nah, I'm not into hardcore chick-lit
I was moving the whole time
The most fun I've had with a book since, well, reading Grundish and Askew. Is it transgressive? Yes. But it is so well written it transcends the transgressive/bizarro genre.
Don't have time to read you say? There is an audiobook version on audible.
Get the ebook, download the audiobook, grab a box of Kleenex, an airplane size barf bag, and get ready to have one weird (and entertaining) time.
Discworld fanatic, recovering rock musician, husband, father, grandfather, programmer
Having already read his first book, Smashed, Squashed, Splattered, Chewed, Chunked and Spewed, I thought I was prepared for Sloughing Off the Rot. This book is so much darker than his first. Calling this book bizarre doesn’t really do it justice. It is profane, silly, at times gross, goofy, profane, dark, clever, weird as hell, familiar, foreign, touching, confusing, profane, and hilarious. I loved it, but would be quite selective about who I recommended it to. If you like to laugh and are not bothered by occasional (alright, frequent) profanity and “weird”, this book is awesome.
I particularly enjoyed the occasional inclusion of song lyrics and references to 70s pop-culture. The narrator did a great job, and voicing Santiago as Wolfman Jack was genius
Wtf did I just listen to? This was one crazy ass ride down the El Camino de la Muerte. There were some truly gross out and laugh out loud moments for sure.
I would be lying if I said that this one didn’t lose me a couple of times while listening to it in the car, but I seemed able to recover and get back on board with little difficulty…for the most part. There was a whole lot of bizarro going on here. Possibly too much. I don’t even know if that is possible, but it felt like it.
The basic premise here was good and the story itself was written very well. Mr. Carbuncle definitely has skills. If I was more versed in the genre it may have clicked more for me, it just seemed to get a wee repetitive in theme in a few parts and may have been better served (for me) in a shorter format.
I will definitely keep an eye out for more from this author.
*I received a review copy of the audiobook from the author in exchange for an honest review and this was it.
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