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Happy Mutant Baby Pillsby Jerry Stahl
Synopses & Reviews
Lloyd has a particular set of skills. He writes the small print for prescription drugs, marital aids, and incontinence products. The clients present him with a list of possible side effects. His job is "to recite and minimize"—sometimes by just saying them really fast and other times by finding the language that can render them acceptable. The results are ingenious. The methods diabolical.
Lloyd has a habit, too. He cops smack during coffee breaks at his new job writing copy for Christian Swingles, an online dating service for the faithful. He finds a precarious balance between hackwork and heroin until he encounters Nora, a mysterious and troubled young woman, a Sylvia Plath with tattoos and implants, who asks for his help.
Lloyd falls swiftly in love, but Nora bestows her affections at a cost. Before Lloyd clears his head from the fog of romance, he finds himself complicit in Nora's grand scheme to horrify the world and exact revenge on those who poison the populace in order to sell them the cure.
"Lloyd, a strung-out former Big-Pharma copy cranker — a 'Side Effects Specialist' who coined the term 'anal leakage' — narrates Stahl's latest junkie novel (after Pain Killers and Bad Sex on Speed), as well as a prologue he accurately describes as 'the world's longest cocktail napkin.' Lloyd's on the lam after a failed pharmacy heist with other jonesing copywriters from the dating site Christian Swingles, when he falls for a mysterious beauty sitting in the Greyhound bus seat next to him. Nora Funk, who claims to write greeting cards, wants to destroy her old boss: 'I want to fuck with him... the worst way you fuck with anybody.' Lloyd proffers his help, and descends into 'a particular demoralization that comes from thinking you were out of the woods, and then the woods turn out to be a park, and the park's in front of the Petrified Forest. Which is full of man-eating boars. Who only eat men who look like you.' Stahl's fans will forgive the halting start and sudden end to this fleshed-out satiric novella, at the heart of which lies a transgression too obscene — and too sharply revealing of Americans' complicity in big-business ills — to describe here. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Jerry Stahl is the author of Permanent Midnight; I, Fatty; Perv—a Love Story; and Plainclothes Naked. He has written extensively for film and television, and his work has appeared in Esquire, Details, Playboy, and other publications. He lives in Los Angeles.
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