High above the bustling streets of Dubai, in the world's tallest and most luxurious skyscraper, reside the gods and goddesses of the modern world. Since they emerged 14 billion years ago from a bus blaring a tune remarkably similar to the Mister Softee jingle, they've wreaked mischief and havoc on mankind. Unable to control their jealousies, the gods have splintered into several factions, led by the immortal enemies XOXO, Shanice, La Felina, Fast-Cooking Ali, and Mogul Magoo. Ike Karton, an unemployed butcher from New Jersey, is their current obsession.
Ritualistically recited by a cast of drug-addled bards, The Sugar Frosted Nustack is Ike's epic story. A raucous tale of gods and men confronting lust, ambition, death, and the eternal verities, it is a wildly fun, wickedly fast gambol through the unmapped corridors of the imagination.
©2012 Mark Leyner (P)2012 Hachette Audio
Vandalizing the denouement.
My favorite character is Ike Karton because he is the "Warlord of his Stoop", attuned to the gods, hurtling toward his fate with so much more than grim resolve. He's a doomed, compulsively hermeneutic, unemployed, anarcho-primitivist gym-rat, and that's just straight sexy.
The Sugar Frosted Nutsack is an epic, endlessly recited by blind, drug-addled, vagrant bards. Hearing Mark Leyner recite it is the next best thing to attending an actual live performance.
Absolutely. Bring some orange soda.
This is not a normal book. It's a staggeringly recursive construction of text, sub-text and meta-text. It may seem random or overly whimsical on the surface, but it contains deep structure and integrity. It's the funniest book I've read (or heard) in years.
I wouldn't think of it. The author is the only one who knows how this thing works.
I have not, but it would surprise me if it compares to anything.
He may be the only person who understands it well enough to read it with the appropriate inflections and energy level.
If this book were a movie, I would have to go see it just to find out how anyone could possibly turn this book into a movie.
I must applaud the author for inventing such an absurd and colorful dreamworld, and describing it with such obvious enthusiasm. I can't say that I was able to fully engage in it myself. I watched from a distance and got some good laughs. Punishing repetition may play better on the written page than on audio, where the oft-repeated phrases repeatedly trigger an "oh no!, my ipod jumped the tracks" reaction.
Leyner is HILARIOUS! The people driving next to me at 6AM must have thought I was crazy as I laughed out loud at this book.
His narration was very very good and the book was his best since Et Tu Babe.
Yes, I probably will listen to this work again. This piece ranks with Vonnegut's or Tom Robbin's best works as a stunning piece of absurdist fiction.
For me, my favorite character is a toss up between Ike, the protagonist, and XOXO the God of head injury and forgetfulness. Ike throws himself relentlessly to his fate as XOXO tries to sabotage the story. (No kidding.)
I really doubt that anyone but the author could have done this justice.
The Kandy Kolored Tangerine Flake Streamlined Nutsack
I really appreciate this works way of creating a story and at the same time creating a commentary on the story. It's a bit like having a novel interleaved with a dry academic article about the novel. Very clever.
I get the impression that Leyner really hates critics.
I guess there will never be another Et Tu, Babe.
No, but it makes me realize what a rare gem a truly funny books is. So far, Bossypants is the high water mark.
I wouldn't know where to start. The whole book would be in pieces. Which is where Leyner probably started, gathering up random thoughts and piecing them together with the literary duck tape of wacky gods.
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