Review: Deep Blue by Brian Auspice (Eraserhead Press; 2014)

17 Dec

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Devils in fridges. The door opens and closes. A woman pancakes, disappearing through a crack in the floor. The narrator buys another little man.

Deep Blue is reminiscent of a Lenora Carrington painting.

Posters of Abraham Lincoln standing next to a log. An obese man eats his own cigar then points to an elevator which leads nowhere.

Colors dominate the Roland Topor-esque cityscape. They filter experiences, draw the wandering narrator forward past new boundaries as he tries to buy more little men in cans for his machine and the blue devil in his fridge, and call out to him as if grasping the wand or brush of the mad painter as he scribbles vivid faces on blank masks in a movie theatre where the attendees watch him instead of the film.

Women melting into brick as he is whisked away by cab drivers requiring no fare. Yet it may not have been fair the way his mother treated him, preferring to listen to the newscaster rattle on about the weather than to talk to him.

The many psychologist decapitated heads in the dumpster may believe in reality, but the receptionist who chose to melt into a bloodstain in the carpet did not.

Siamese starfish were meant to be removed from stepmothers. An old man rides a centipede during John’s ambitious journey to become a man in a can.

This book is excellent. Vaguely nightmarish, the language is stripped-down and the intuitive plot is trippy. There is a heavy emphasis on redundant suicide and nausea. The voice remains deadpan, no matter how ridiculous or dream-like the unfolding events become.

I thought about Phillip Jose Farmer’s “Sliced-Crosswise-Only-On-Tuesday World” but as there were no seemingly intentional direct references, I remain unsure as to whether Auspice ever read that particular tale.

Check out Deep Blue and Brian Auspice’s blog.

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