Genre: Bizarro Fiction, Literary Fiction
Published by Lazy Fascist Press
Borrowed from Kindle Library
My second Sam Pink novel, well the previous one was a novella, it’s a lot more enjoyable than the first. Person was funny, quirky, and it just puts a smile on your face. But it’s a lot more dark, a lot less hopeful, compared to this one. I was actually surprised when I read Witch Piss and I haven’t read any Sam Pink before this, except, Person. I was expecting something a lot more sinister, like the narrator would go around and kill people and drink their blood. Some kind of twisted stuff. But instead, this one was a lot more light hearted. I do need that once in awhile.
Like Person, this novel consists of a narrator wandering around Chicago. Nameless, doesn’t talk much, almost invisible to everyone until he allows them to notice him. He runs into a crowd of homeless people and something about them attracts him to them. He hangs out with them, befriends them, and learns of a life wholly different from his own.
Witch Piss is probably the most literary bizarro fiction novel I have ever read. Actually, I didn’t even know it was part of that genre. The prose is still Sam Pink, the short repeated phrases, and the almost childlike observations. But his writing has matured out of the Tao Lin-esque writing style and is lot fuller. Maybe not, to me it is. The writing is a lot more concrete, I guess I can say. It sounds less like the narrator is high or something. He’s a bit more conscious of what the hell is happening. A little too observant.
This novel is a lot more of a character study. The narrator is still introverted, not speaking much, a bit hesitant in socializing, not doing much, just hanging out in the background. The novel is less focused on his thoughts and more on the people surrounding him. Which is why I considered it akin to a literary fiction novel. The character study comes around, since you learn every little trait, twitch, and background story of each character. Of course they’re not all nice, but these characters are so funny, not in a Ha ha you’re weird way, but their humor and bluntness, their view of “life can be good and bad, whether you want it to or not,” makes them so charming. It’s all depressing, but at least we’re still living right?
What also surprised me too, was the language. How the hell did Sam Pink do this? He wrote the language so accurately, so perfectly. The AAVE is almost perfect, did he stand around and record people’s voices? I’ve even known people who talked like this, being a New Yorker and mixed race, causing me to be exposed to people of all backgrounds. Along with his writing, a minamalistic, yet so colorful prose, with it’s own unique individual voice and sound to it, almost like a comic book. He managed to also make some musical dialogue.
There isn’t really much of a plot in this novel, just one lonely guy walking the streets of Chicago and discovering the live of others. Instead of being locked in his apartment, he gets drunk with others. But of course, this doesn’t last too long, and it reminds me of the temporariness of life and friendship.