The Sugar Frosted Nutsack by Mark Leyner


It is difficult to know what to expect from a book entitled The Sugar Frosted Nutsack. The book is a strange and divergent tale, with constant and lengthy digressions that seem to simultaneously distract from what plot there is while being the true narrative of the novel. Eschewing traditional story structure and adapting a strange, self-referential style, we are taken on a journey where the formatting of the text on the page is often more significant than the words. While ostensibly the book is the story of Ike Karton, an unemployed butcher who "always keeps it simple and sexy", in reality the book is about the story The Sugar Frosted Nutsack itself in a display of bizarre, metafictional recursion. Most of the book is dedicated to the concept of The Sugar Frosted Nutsack as a story, being told and retold by drug-addled blind bards to crowds of thousands over the course of many hours, and not to the narrative of Ike Karton and his life.

The author finds his humor in absurdity and indelicacy, passages drenched in sexual and vulgar prose without any seeming sanity. The book comes populated with its own pantheon of bizarre and fickle modern gods; some even actively out to sabotage the very text of the book. Leyner plays with the concept of the canonicity of stories, their mutability and the power of interpretation and repetition. As an exercise in almost Dada-esque criticism of narrative, the book is intellectually stimulating and challenging. Readers should be forewarned, however, that this is not a typical novel in any shape or form.

Tim @ Central

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This page contains a single entry by Tim published on August 18, 2012 8:17 AM.

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