Boris & Arkady Strugatsky - Russia - 1970
There are 9 pages in this book which I found compelling. Within those 9 pages is the exposition of the title. The narrative is disjointed and uneven. The ending is anticlimactic. Color me unimpressed.THE CRIME STUDIO
- Beerlight #1
Steve Aylett - Great Britain - 1994
THE CRIME STUDIO is Aylett's first novel. Of Aylett a cogent wikipedia article opines :"Steve Aylett (born 1967 in Bromley, United Kingdom) is a satirical science fiction and slipstream author (most recently adopted by the bizarro movement).
He is renowned for his colorful satire attacking the manipulations of authority, for creating many epigrams, and for his non-neurotypical characters who
do not react as expected."
Once I looked up "slipstream", "bizarro", "epigrams", and "non-neurotypical" this made more sense and, with the virtue of hindsight, is accurate. Even a person having the cypher key to these technical designations will not have much of an idea, though, what kind of author Aylett might be and whether or not they might be interested in giving him a throw. WATCHMEN writer Alan Moore seems to think he is something of the best kept secret in modern fiction. I reference Moore not because of any personal esteem for his works or opinions, but because I gather that he is something of a referential totem or gnomon for those areas of literary culture liberally dosed with gonzo, and Aylett is nothing if not gonzo to the cuticles. Aylett plays my sense of humor like a kazoo. Remember in UN CHIEN ANDALOU the scene in which an oddly passive character is using a stick to poke at a severed hand lying in the street? Kirkus reviews has little to say about Aylett, and what they do say has more of the aspect of the aforementioned oddly passive character. Suffice it to say that Aylett's writings, if there were such a thing as a literary mainstream, would occupy a prohibitively distant realm reserved for the criminally insane. In fact all of the residents of Beerlight, the locus operandi
of THE CRIME STUDIO as well as other Aylett efforts, are criminally insane. They also talk like Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. would if he forgot his manners. If Steve Aylett and Ryan Sayles ever met, the resulting conflagration would probably atomize Don DeLillo, Cormac McCarthy, Umberto Eco, and Joyce Carol Oates spontaneously and Voltaire retroactively.