Me & Mr. Cigar
From legendary Butthole Surfers front-man Gibby Haynes comes a darkly humorous speculative YA debut about a lost Texas teen and his supernatural dog, and the power of found family.For the past five years seventeen-year-old Oscar Lester has never been without his dog, Mr. Cigar. The two have made a pretty good life for themselves in North Texas. Oscar spends most of his time organizing drug-fueled dance parties with his best friend, Lytle Taylor. And all three benefit from the care of Carla Marks, the genius behind the mysterious IBC corporation. Oscar's deceased CEO father "discovered" Carla, though Oscar's mother spends all her time with her new boyfriend. As for Oscar's older sister, Rachel . . . she fled Texas after Mr. Cigar bit off her left hand. Oscar was twelve. But he alone knows now as he knew then: his beloved pet is no menace. Mr. Cigar is a supernatural companion.After years of silence, Rachel—now a twenty-two-year-old artist living in New York—phones Oscar out of the blue. She's being held hostage and will only be released if she pays a debt she owes. At the same time, Carla Marks warns Oscar to get out of town. Nefarious forces are after his dog. Suddenly Oscar, Lytle, and Mr. Cigar find themselves on the run to New York, to save Rachel and to save themselves. And in the end, the truth of Rachel's circumstances ultimately uncovers the truth of Oscar's own . . . and the truth about Mr. Cigar.

Me & Mr. Cigar Details

TitleMe & Mr. Cigar
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 14th, 2020
PublisherSoho Teen
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Fiction, Science Fiction, Animals, Fantasy, Supernatural, Paranormal, Magical Realism, Science Fiction Fantasy

Me & Mr. Cigar Review

  • Mimi
    January 1, 1970
    I have no idea what I just read.
  • Niklas Pivic
    January 1, 1970
    To begin with, I was drawn to this book because of its writer, Gibby Haynes, who's never come across as a writer to me. He still doesn't. On the other hand, every book has its points, even though Haynes's style comes across much like that of a jaded raconteur, a man who's told a lot of tales, perhaps filtered through eons of drugs and alcohol, and, perhaps mainly, a man whose sense of style and plot follows the irregularities of his old band, the Butthole Surfers.The book started quite To begin with, I was drawn to this book because of its writer, Gibby Haynes, who's never come across as a writer to me. He still doesn't. On the other hand, every book has its points, even though Haynes's style comes across much like that of a jaded raconteur, a man who's told a lot of tales, perhaps filtered through eons of drugs and alcohol, and, perhaps mainly, a man whose sense of style and plot follows the irregularities of his old band, the Butthole Surfers.The book started quite uneventful, but suddenly changed direction:Then one Friday, Oscar returned from school and Mr. Cigar was on Oscar’s bed instead of his usual place in front of the closet. Curiously, Oscar examined the closet to find the thing missing. Where is it? Oscar thought and sat next to Mr. Cigar on the bed. Mr. Cigar gave him an unfamiliar glance, then rolled over to reveal something remarkable.There, clinging to Mr. Cigar’s underside, was an odd, doglike animal that was about five inches long. The little creature stared at Oscar with inviting, humanlike eyes and yawned, revealing a mouth full of tiny razor-sharp teeth. It had fur like a dog, four legs and a tail like a dog. The ears were smaller and pointier than a dog’s.Most amazingly, however, this creature had wings—wings that were slightly fur-covered and batlike. Without regard to consequence, Oscar reached to touch the critter, and in an instant, it took flight. After rapidly circling the room several times, it landed on Oscar’s desk and then promptly disappeared. What just happened? thought Oscar. What had he seen? Was any of it real? After answering, I don’t know, to all these questions, Oscar realized the creature had not disappeared, but had somehow changed the color of its wings to match the color of its surroundings.I won't go into detail because of spoilers, but Haynes's best trait is his fantastical descriptions, but throughout the book, I kept feeling that he could have done something with both plot and dialogue; where somebody like Jonathan Franzen can provide excellent dialogue, Haynes lets the dialogue turn into a lull, a kind of mindless drawl, almost, which doesn't really fit in with the rhythm of what the book could have been. An example of this:I tell Mike, “I’m not feeling so good. I’m glad I’m not doing any of that Molly. I might not be able to handle it.”“Double wow,” Mike says as we ease onto FM 66. “I assumed you saw me dump that huge blast into your Red Bull. I also put a little orange microdot in there. Just to round out the experience.”“Uh . . . What’s ‘orange microdot,’ Mike?”“Acid, dude. You know: the old Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. It’s super clean . . . I got it off a totally legit deadhead in Copenhagen.”I feel panicked.“Holy shit, man!”“Don’t worry, dude; it’s totally for reals. Homeboy got it from Petaluma Al in Amsterdam. You’ll thank me later . . . The colors are awesome.”Oh, great, I regret to myself, Petaluma Al: the Pablo Escobar of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide . . . LSD “No, you don’t understand, Mike. I don’t do drugs.” He laughs.“That’s the same way I am, man. It’s a complete misnomer to call psychedelics ‘drugs.’ I think of ’em as a sort of a mind Band-Aid. When your reality gets scraped, you need a little first aid. I feel so-o-o good . . . Wow, cool, this is great. I’m never going to eat again. Cool. Wow.”I laugh too. Wow. Wow, cool. Mike is kind of funny, though. Actually, really funny. Then he lets out this laugh that sounds like Richard Widmark pushing an old lady down a flight of stairs in a funky old noir flick. I’m not sure if I say this out loud or just think it.“That’s what I’m famous for.”He cackles and starts up in with the wow-cool-wow stuff again. It’s getting kind of crispy at the edges of my field of vision. Why am I laughing?If only Haynes had let the fun of the twists in the book and allowed it to breathe more, it wouldn't feel as uncontrolled as it is. The boons of the book are its contorted twists and turns through a literary landscape where Haynes shows that anything is possible. This book is not predictable, at least when it changes direction.For me, this book is too uncontrollable in a bad way; I love books that take you on a ride, but when they carry the sound of a completely neophyte author who is in need of a strong editor's hand, I can't help feel that a lot of promise has been wasted. I'm still looking forward to what I hope will be Haynes's second book.P.s. Nobody who knows their music—especially that of the Buttholes—will miss the music references, e.g. "Locust Street" and "MC5".
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  • Kurt Gottschalk
    January 1, 1970
    Review at: http://www.star-revue.com/psychedelic...
  • Carol Kean
    January 1, 1970
    Voice - a compelling, authentic voice - is what gets me to read books I'd normally never go near. The author is a founding member of a band called "Butthole Surfers" - that should have stopped me, right? And on the cover, a dog has a severed hand in its mouth. Well, I had to know whose hand it was, so I got the book - against all my better judgment - and started reading. We find out in the prologue how the hand got detached from its owner, so I could have stopped reading before I got to Chapter Voice - a compelling, authentic voice - is what gets me to read books I'd normally never go near. The author is a founding member of a band called "Butthole Surfers" - that should have stopped me, right? And on the cover, a dog has a severed hand in its mouth. Well, I had to know whose hand it was, so I got the book - against all my better judgment - and started reading. We find out in the prologue how the hand got detached from its owner, so I could have stopped reading before I got to Chapter One. But I kept reading all the way to the end. And I laughed. Out loud. At stuff that should not amuse a mother whose mission in life is to keep her children from doing the stuff Oscar does. Oscar, the first-person POV narrator, is only age seventeen but he's hosting parties with illegal substances and profiting from it, and dodging the cops, and doing a number of insanely risky things.The dialogue cracked me up - I posted a photo from the funniest chapter because my Kindle has spoiled me and I hate typing things out by hand now. "His may-outh," the woman with the southern accent says. Why was that funny? Why was I reading this book? Because the VOICE of this teenage protagonist reeled me in and I couldn't put the book down.I don't want to talk about the second-to-the-last chapter, or even think about it, and thanks to the forbidden SPOILER alert, I'm off the hook there. But I have to say the last chapter kinda-sorta makes it all ok, but not really, not for this middle-aged mother of three. Oscar and his friend Lytle and his incredibly awesome friend Carla, the inventor, take the reader on a wild ride. Mr. Cigar is an awesome dog. We never find out precisely what the government experiments were about, but we do know Mr. Cigar will evade his would-be captor. (Trust me, that was not a spoiler - you have no idea HOW this dog will continue to evade the military experiments.) If you like unconventional, unpredictable, off-the-wall stories, this book is for you--no matter how many kids you've raised without a jail sentence or every mother's worst fears being realized. What happens in this story is so wild, one can only hope the whole thing was a hallucination and none of this stuff actually happened. It's a trip. And I can't believe I liked it. NOTE: Amazon rejected my original review, and then my revised review, so what you just read was my THIRD version. The second version, I forgot to save a copy, so I had to type another all-new review. (Ugh.) Here is Version One, just FYI. No, I don't expect anyone to read it. But it's here for the record.THE REJECTED REVIEWRandom phrases often make me think "That'd be a great name for a rock band," but not Butthole Surfers. Ugh. No. I've not yet called them up on You-Tube. Normally by now I would have, knowing the book I'm reading was written by a rock star (or any kind of musician). Had I flipped through pages of this book in a store, the line drawings alone would have had me thinking "too middle school for me." Ahhh, but juvenile delinquent stupidity and good times have a certain allure.I read the book, in spite of the severed hand on the cover. Or maybe because of it. I had to know whose hand it was, and how it came to be in the mouth of that dog.The answer comes in the prologue, so I could have quit reading before I even got to Chapter One. But this teenage boy narrating this story has a fresh, original voice, and it was so compelling, he kept me listening to his crazy, drug-induced tales. It was like being at a party where everyone is stoned and describing their hallucinations--except, I've never done that, so this got me as close to experiencing it as I'll ever get. And if what happened in the second-to-last chapter really did happen, I'm totally not "going there," trip-wise. (Pass the molly to the next guest at the party; count me out.)Molly. Parties hosted by a teenager who hires a clown. Dodging the police. Getting out of one tight situation after another. This teen protagonist sounds like a 60-something guy boasting of his crazy youthful exploits, but not really, because Oscar's voice (or that of Gibby Haynes) is more original and entertaining.We see Mr. Cigar kicked and abused in the prologue, but he recovers, more or less, and I kept reading to the very end. I'm still kinda blinking in surprise that I did this. There's a visual impact to this book, an artistry involving white space and page layout. Only one chapter is more than two pages long. Some are less than one page long. In a paperback, this is a carbon footprint one can hardly justify, but ok, we get a lot of blank pages here, and it is somehow fitting. Thank you, trees, for your sacrifice. A lot of this story is really funny - you'd think it's a "You had to be there" kind of humor, but I laughed out loud, which very few books ever make me do despite the "LOL" shorthand we all use.Carla is totally awesome, a woman with tech-skills and inventions that the military would kill for (and maybe did). Any 17-year-old with a friend like her is beyond lucky. Oscar and his pal Lytle accidentally flee as certain bad scene with one of Carla's inventions, but in Ferris Buehler style, they put her devive to excellent use. Or really brainless, hazardous, unfortunate, yet oddly successful use. I don't know how to describe this book without spoilers or judgment. I am a mother. Three children - all of whom survived to adulthood - even though one of them AFTER college took part in that bizarre hobby of Millennials, jumping from bridges into dirty rivers in the dark of night. More than one mother's child who survived the teen years has died of a bacteria that got into the bridge-jumper's ear, but teenagers and 20-somethings are immortal.Mr. Cigar and Oscar seem to be immortal, but like the narrative itself, this is hazy.We never find out what military experiment might involve Mr. Cigar, but exposing the truth isn't the point of this story. Someone is out to get Mr. Cigar for some nefarious purpose, and Oscar will keep running with his extraordinary dog, and we'll never know what our government was up to in regards to this dog, and it's ok. In the end, no matter what happened (I'm not the only one blinking and wondering), it's all ok. Pass me a cigar. Live in the now. Enjoy the ride. It's trippin'.I'm still shaking my head in disbelief: I read this story in which a teenage boy does things I prayed God my own children would never do, and I laughed with him during his most ill-conceived and egregious adventures.Call me crazy.
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  • Bob Schnell
    January 1, 1970
    Gibby Haynes, best known as the singer and songwriter of the Butthole Surfers, has gotten sober and written a YA novel. It is a crazy action thriller about a rather normal Texas teen and his possibly immortal, seemingly clairvoyant dog, Mr. Cigar. I know that books aimed at teens have gotten a bit more adult in recent years, but the drugs and criminal activities described in this book may not be appropriate for younger teens. Otherwise it is an original story with a few ridiculous turns and a Gibby Haynes, best known as the singer and songwriter of the Butthole Surfers, has gotten sober and written a YA novel. It is a crazy action thriller about a rather normal Texas teen and his possibly immortal, seemingly clairvoyant dog, Mr. Cigar. I know that books aimed at teens have gotten a bit more adult in recent years, but the drugs and criminal activities described in this book may not be appropriate for younger teens. Otherwise it is an original story with a few ridiculous turns and a major puzzling loose end. Its an entertaining quick read, chapters are only 1-4 pages long, recommended for anyone interested in a quirky escapist novel.
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  • Lance Dale
    January 1, 1970
    This is probably the weirdest young adult book in the history of young adult books. The story is bananas and I loved every f'n minute of it. I hope Gibby Haynes keeps writing.
  • Neil Sarver
    January 1, 1970
    In his autobiography, White Line Fever, Lemmy wrote, "The Beatles were hard men too. Brian Epstein cleaned them up for mass consumption, but they were anything but sissies. They were from Liverpool, which is like Hamburg or Norfolk, Virginia--a hard, sea-farin' town, all these dockers and sailors around all the time who would beat the piss out of you if you so much as winked at them... The Rolling Stones were the mummy's boys--they were all college students from the outskirts of London. They In his autobiography, White Line Fever, Lemmy wrote, "The Beatles were hard men too. Brian Epstein cleaned them up for mass consumption, but they were anything but sissies. They were from Liverpool, which is like Hamburg or Norfolk, Virginia--a hard, sea-farin' town, all these dockers and sailors around all the time who would beat the piss out of you if you so much as winked at them... The Rolling Stones were the mummy's boys--they were all college students from the outskirts of London. They went to starve in London, but it was by choice, to give themselves some sort of aura of disrespectability..."In this scenario, Gibby Haynes and his band, Butthole Surfers, are The Rolling Stones in comparison to whoever they might be contrasted to in the same way. Dicks and Gary Floyd maybe? That's not right, is it?I'm offtrack.The important thing is that if you didn't know that, you'll see it pretty quickly reading this. The protagonist is the very picture of upper middle class privilege. And all of the surreal(ish) events of the book are explained or explainable with technology and occasionally drugs, so was mildly disappointing on that level.All of that said, it's a fast, fun read. I zipped right through it. At it's best, it reminded me of something like Little Brother, which I love.In that same way, I'd originally intended to have it as a book I'd keep around to read my kid as she gets older. But, after finishing it, I probably won't bother. If she asks me to read it to her or whether she'll enjoy reading it on her own, I'll say sure. It's amusing enough.I was just hoping for more. Maybe next time, if there is one.
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  • Julie-Ann Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Netgalley and Publisher for the arc.I'm going to begin by saying this was a very wild ride and I am glad that it wasn't a very long book.Why?-It was confusing. But not a good 'mind game' kind of confusing that some books have accomplished, more so a a drug or alcohol induced confusion. Kind of like if your not so sober friend was telling you story that made very little sense (but gave you a few laughs) though ultimately you just wanted them to finish their story and go away. I still Thank you Netgalley and Publisher for the arc.I'm going to begin by saying this was a very wild ride and I am glad that it wasn't a very long book.Why?-It was confusing. But not a good 'mind game' kind of confusing that some books have accomplished, more so a a drug or alcohol induced confusion. Kind of like if your not so sober friend was telling you story that made very little sense (but gave you a few laughs) though ultimately you just wanted them to finish their story and go away. I still found Me & Mr. Cigar amusing, and I believe that there are some students at my school who would like this type of humour and zaniness.It's just not for me.2.8/5 stars
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  • Ty Stranglehold
    January 1, 1970
    Gibby Haynes writes a young adult coming of age story? Sign me the hell up! I will say that I was not let down in the least. Characters with heart in mind bogglingly surreal situations... and a telepathic, imortal dog. A quick and easy read that left me wondering what the hell just happened. I look forward to reading more from this Texas psych-punk legend.
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  • Tani Garberg
    January 1, 1970
    This was a wild ride. Having never done the drugs mentioned I will have to assume that this is what an acid/moly trip might be like. Keeping in mind that this is a fantasy book written for YA it’s was a good read.
  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Well. That was weird. I have no freaking clue why they’re selling this as a YA book. Not very coherent or cohesive, but a quick read with some entertainment value and a dozen loose threads left hanging. If Gibby writes another one, I hope his editor actually does their job.
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  • Patti Cook
    January 1, 1970
    I mean, the idea of this was great. Super fun and weird. But i couldn't help but wonder what it would have been like if Andrew Smith had written it.
  • Cameron
    January 1, 1970
    I can't even tell you what this book was about.... Like what in the world did I just read?
  • Megan
    January 1, 1970
    A trainwreck of a book.
  • Sarah Yung
    January 1, 1970
    This is a quick read that would've benefitted from a far firmer editor, as evinced by passages like this: “Carla soon became a combination of mother, sister and friend. Almost immediate family. I love immediate families, the really quick ones” (46). The illustrations are unnecessary; one on page 67 corresponds to the text on page 221, but the few others seemed unrelated.Cast Facts:Despite evidence to the contrary, Oscar is ostensibly smart: “I try to go [to school] as little as possible. I’ve This is a quick read that would've benefitted from a far firmer editor, as evinced by passages like this: “Carla soon became a combination of mother, sister and friend. Almost immediate family. I love immediate families, the really quick ones” (46). The illustrations are unnecessary; one on page 67 corresponds to the text on page 221, but the few others seemed unrelated.Cast Facts:Despite evidence to the contrary, Oscar is ostensibly smart: “I try to go [to school] as little as possible. I’ve never done any homework with the exception of writing papers, yet still I’m going to graduate a year early in the top 10 percent of my class” (52).Mr. Cigar is immortal, pictured with Rasputin and given to JFK by Khrushchev (109).Lytle is Black, but we only find this out on page 171. Dialogue throughout is patently unbelievable; Lytle talks like this: “I guess I was trying to maximize the finite space within which I’d been given to operate. It was perfect nick-of-time-type shizzle” (179).Kirkus starred this and called it satiric fantasy, but I don’t really consider offhand statements like the following satirical enough to qualify: “Clearly, it’s not about skin color, but still, just because a man has clear skin doesn’t mean he’s a thief… he’s socioeconomically disadvantaged from growing up in a clear neighborhood” (167). And “The crappy neighborhoods are basically the same but instead of garbage flying around it’s bullets. Like an American high school…” (227). My thoughts summed up? Haynes proclaims the boys’ plan “truly lacking in substance” (186), which seems like a fitting description of this book.
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  • Kim McGee
    January 1, 1970
    This is one wild ride - Oscar is your normal well off, ignored by his wealthy parents, kind of kid. That is until the day he is discovered by Mr. Cigar a very unusual dog with some out-of-this-world powers. Lucky for Oscar he also has Carla who acts as a second mom and includes Oscar and Mr. Cigar in her revolutionary new ideas. Strange, funny and a true out-of-body experience to read, Oscar will have you believing and you will not be able to look at a dog again without wondering if he really This is one wild ride - Oscar is your normal well off, ignored by his wealthy parents, kind of kid. That is until the day he is discovered by Mr. Cigar a very unusual dog with some out-of-this-world powers. Lucky for Oscar he also has Carla who acts as a second mom and includes Oscar and Mr. Cigar in her revolutionary new ideas. Strange, funny and a true out-of-body experience to read, Oscar will have you believing and you will not be able to look at a dog again without wondering if he really does understand everything you say. This is for young adults but there are plenty of adults who will get a kick out of it.
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  • Heather Mashnouk brandon
    January 1, 1970
    Oscar Lester knows the Mr. Cigar is no ordinary dog. They are friends and partners and do life together. So what if Mr. Cigar appears to be supernatural and telepathic? It makes their adventures together that much better.Written for younger teens, this book by Gibby Haynes touches on friendship, companionship, growing up, and contains the element of danger that Haynes hoped would be prevalent in his story telling. The chapters are short enough to maintain attention and Haynes definitely created Oscar Lester knows the Mr. Cigar is no ordinary dog. They are friends and partners and do life together. So what if Mr. Cigar appears to be supernatural and telepathic? It makes their adventures together that much better.Written for younger teens, this book by Gibby Haynes touches on friendship, companionship, growing up, and contains the element of danger that Haynes hoped would be prevalent in his story telling. The chapters are short enough to maintain attention and Haynes definitely created an interesting story.It is fairly shallow writing. None of the characters appear to have much in the way of depth and the story surrounding Mr. Cigar seems to become a convenient plot tool. I think Haynes has some interesting ideas here but could have expanded them some more. As it is the story feels oddly rushed and not particularly exciting.Thank you to Net Galley for providing an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Delany Holcomb
    January 1, 1970
    This treat of a zany and sweet buddy story between a boy and his loyal (albeit abnormally talented) dog is a wild ride from start to finish. Butthole Surfers frontman Gibby Haynes has concocted this cocktail of absolute absurdity that follows Oscar and his dog, Mr. Cigar, as they navigate their life together. From biting off his sister's hand to being seemingly immortal, Oscar loves every ounce of Mr. Cigar. But when Mr. Cigar's history starts to come to light and the pair find themselves in This treat of a zany and sweet buddy story between a boy and his loyal (albeit abnormally talented) dog is a wild ride from start to finish. Butthole Surfers frontman Gibby Haynes has concocted this cocktail of absolute absurdity that follows Oscar and his dog, Mr. Cigar, as they navigate their life together. From biting off his sister's hand to being seemingly immortal, Oscar loves every ounce of Mr. Cigar. But when Mr. Cigar's history starts to come to light and the pair find themselves in danger, the truth will have to come out to save their lives. An absolute joy to read and a great coming of age novel, "Me & Mr. Cigar" is a perfect example of animal companionship and the way we connect with our pets.
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  • Vera
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Soho Teen for the ARC of this book!I'm giving it three stars because it had some flashes of brilliance, and the writing style was lyrical and interesting, but overall, the plotline didn't really make sense to me at all. I had a lot of trouble sympathizing with the main character, Oscar, since I wasn't able to fully grasp what was going on in his head or around him throughout the book. Some of the magical realism elements in the book were interesting, but I think they needed to be Thank you to Soho Teen for the ARC of this book!I'm giving it three stars because it had some flashes of brilliance, and the writing style was lyrical and interesting, but overall, the plotline didn't really make sense to me at all. I had a lot of trouble sympathizing with the main character, Oscar, since I wasn't able to fully grasp what was going on in his head or around him throughout the book. Some of the magical realism elements in the book were interesting, but I think they needed to be fleshed out more. Really, everything needed to be fleshed out more in order to make the book more coherent overall. It did have some good moments, though, and I'm glad I got the chance to read it!
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  • Dan
    January 1, 1970
    Totally weird and very entertaining -- I would expect nothing less from Gibby Haynes.
  • Will
    January 1, 1970
    I mean, it was entertaining, in the sense that I kept reading just to see what wild, illogical thing would happen next. I couldn't really empathize with the main character, a rich, inconsiderate teenager who organizes huge parties to make more money. I would have loved more info about Mr. Cigar, or even a scene where his bond with Oscar actually develops. 2 stars just for the sheer surreal feeling I got and had to process while reading.
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  • Arlen
    January 1, 1970
    I wanted to like this book; it's about a dog, after all. But one-third of the way through, it became a DNF for me. The author's drug-fueled magical realism was, um, drug-fueled. Not that there's anything wrong with that (*cough*sputter*), but though it made sense in the author's own head, it never made it from his head to the paper in a coherent way. An author cannot surf on the w(hole) of his name and just hope not to end up on his butt.
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  • Matt Shaqfan
    January 1, 1970
    Rest assured, this book is full of drug-fueled weirdness, but it's totally great! Just what I was hoping for/expecting. Not literally though. MaMC is unpredictable as all hell, but it's super fun. Plus, it's REALLY quick, with each chapter clocking in at around 2 pages each. Gibby said he wanted to make the kind of book he would've wanted to read as a kid, and I'm all for it.
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