#ReadAnFnBookFridays Returns: ‘I Never Met A Story I Didn’t Like’ by Todd Snider

Contrary to popular belief, I’m not dead, and neither is this feature. I just fell into one of those my-brain-is-pure-mush-right-now funks, and I had a real hard time breaking free from that groove. But what better way to make a return than with a book by Singer/Songwriter Todd Snider, a man who I unsuccessfully try to not mention so often on the Acid Pop Cult Podcast.

So without further delay… #ReadAnFnBookFridays

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Snider’s book I Never Met a Story I Didn’t Like: Mostly True Tall Tales, is his attempt to put into writing the stories he’s known for telling in between songs at his live shows. Many of the stories inspired songs, and that is dutifully noted in the book, complete with the inclusion of the lyrics of said song.

Sounds boring, right?

If it does, then you’ve probably never heard of Todd Snider and have no idea as to the kind of stories the man might tell.

Todd Snider has been traveling the country for more than 20 years, making songs up, and singing them for whoever will listen to them. Some of them are long, some of them are short, some of them are funny, some of them are sad, and he’s been known to talk for as many as 18 minutes in between those songs.

That is my horrific attempt at paraphrasing a disclaimer he frequently delivers at the top of every show. Generally, his songs are about societal misfits. People who live on the fringe. As his book reveals, he’s quite at home in the company of these weirdos.

In the book, he tells stories of meeting his idols, like Jerry Jeff Walker, Kris Kristofferson, John Prine and more. He also discloses a few things he learned from each of those people.

More interestingly though, he tells the story of the time he spent the morning with Slash of Guns n Roses in a hotel bar, the time Tony Bennett picked his pocket at an East Nashville car wash, and the time Bill Elliott came to one of his shows and proved to be a pure dick.

There’s also the tale of the time Jimmy Buffett angrily hurled fruit at him backstage at a concert. Buffett was a key player in getting Snider’s career started. His first few albums were released on Buffett’s record label.

One theme that appears in many of the stories is Snider’s favorite pastime of consuming illegal substances. There are good times and bad times associated with the drug stories in the book. He did meet his wife during a rehab stint, and he also happened to be in the same rehab facility Phil Hartman’s wife was in just days before she would shoot her husband. He has also nearly died a few times pursuing his pastime, and he covers all of it in the book.

Above all else, the book is a quick, entertaining read that doesn’t require an intimate knowledge of Snider’s music and career. He’s able to tell colorful stories in print in much the same way he’s known for doing it in his songs.

It’s worth checking out, so pick it up at Amazon, or some other place that still sells books, and give it a read then let me know what you think of it.

We should be back on schedule next week with another new one, but until then, why don’t you read a fucking book on your own or something.

Full disclosure, I’ve been a hardcore Snider fan since the mid-1990s, so my views might be a bit biased. Take it for what it’s worth.

Here’s a crappy video of him doing the intro I half-attempted earlier in this piece. Crappy video, but what do you expect when you troll around on YouTube for stuff?

 

#ReadAnFnBookFridays: Psycho Proctologists and the Flaming Buttholes of Doom, by W.W. Pecker

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Just as a good headline will get clicks on a blog post, whether it’s any good or not, the Psycho Proctologists and the Flaming Buttholes of Doom lured me in for a closer look when I was browsing on Amazon. Fortunately, this was one of those times where the product lived up to expectations the title inspired.

When I saw the title, I had no choice but to click on it.

Then I read the book description, and buying it was a no brainer for me.

Forget Fifty Shades of Gray, this book is fifty shades blacker than your a**hole . . .

Michael McLaren is Hollywood’s proctologist to the stars. In Tinseltown, there’s no shortage of famous people who need things discreetly removed from their sphincters—or who want things shoved up there. Either way, business is good.

But when he discovers that demons dwell in the darkest crevices of existence, he’s unwittingly initiated into a secret society of demon hunters:

The Psycho Proctologists.

The world may think they’re crazy, but they’re all that’s standing between you and the Armageddon.

Because when flaming buttholes threaten to doom humanity as we know it, who ya gonna call?

A butt doctor.

Here’s an audio trailer cut from the audio book. It’s the awesome first chapter featuring Kirk Cameron getting his ass probed, and loving every minute of it.

It’s another short read, as are most of the #ReadAnFnBookFridays books have been lately, but that only adds to its charm. It doesn’t go on and on about a bunch of shit nobody cares about. It sticks to the task at hand, and that task is two proctologists, a gynecologist, and a 13 year old, have to fight off demons who often use orifices as their command center.

It’s kind of like Ghostbusters meets the Exorcist, or something along those lines.

While I’ve found all of the #ReadAnFnBookFridays titles to be good stories, not all of them have been exceptionally well written. That’s not to say any of them have been poorly done. As anybody who reads books can corroborate, there are authors who are readable, and then there are authors who are good. I’m of the opinion, and as we all know, opinions themselves are like assholes, W.W. Pecker is pretty good at it. Admittedly, I’m neither a published author, nor am I a respected critic of literature, so my opinion doesn’t really mean dick. I did spend my college years pursuing an English degree with a concentration on writing, although my horrifically constructed posts on this website prove I wasn’t very good at it.

W.W. Pecker is the top-secret pen name of an award-winning author.
No, really. It wasn’t the Nobel Prize, or even the Pullitzer, but it was an award for writing, dammit. And no, it wasn’t his third grade teacher’s class prize, either. Geez. Cynical, much?When he’s not writing, he can usually be found watching porn on the internet.

At the end of Psycho Proctologists and the Flaming Buttholes of Doom, the author hints there could be more Psycho Proctologist books if there is enough interest, and apparently there was. Buttholes of Doom is book one of three to be published so far, four if you count the book that has all three stories in it, and it’s the kind of premise that could go on for as many new volumes Pecker finds the passion to write.

You can get Psycho Proctologists and the Flaming Buttholes of Doom on Amazon for Kindle for just $1.69, or paperback for $5.39.

You’ll see the other volumes here at some point in the future. They are queued up to be read after I finish Todd Snider’s book, I Never Met a Story i Didn’t Like, which will probably be next week’s title.

Until next week though, keep those orifices locked up tight, and try to forget about the demons that might lurk in there by reading a fucking book or something.

The other Psycho Proctologist books:

Hakuna Matata Audioibook Cover

Psycho Proctologists – Hakuna Matada: Vagina Dentata (Volume 2)

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Psycho Proctologists and the Urethrae of Annihilation (Volume 3)

or you can get them all in one book:

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A Psycho Proctologists Threesome (Psycho Proctologists Omnibus)

#ReadAnFnBookFridays: Rico Slade Will Fucking Kill You by Bradley Sands

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Rico Slade don’t take no shit from nobody.

Rico Slade won’t let anybody stand in the way of what he wants.

Rico Slade might be a lunatic.

Rico Slade might also be the result of an actor in the midst of a mental breakdown.

Rico Slade Will Fucking Kill You is a novella, or extra-long short story if you will, by Bradley Sands. This is the same Bradley Sands whose book TV Snorted My Brain was the subject of one of the first #ReadAnFnBookFridays posts way back in 2013. Rico Slade, like TV Snorted My Brain was a real hoot (Can you tell I watched the FX debut of Fargo recently?), and this book is no different.

Rico Slade rips out throats, chops people up with swords, and has no qualms about fighting off a swarm of cops when the situation calls for it. He is a man on a mission, and that mission is to thwart the evil plans of Baron Mayhem by any means necessary, and he will stop at nothing to accomplish that mission.

Rico Slade Will Fucking Kill You is full of neato violence, and moves along like a cockroach running from a sudden blast of incandescent hell. The book is reminiscent of those classic action flicks guys like Arnold, Chuck Norris, and Jean Claude Van Damme churned out during the 1980s, in that it doesn’t mess around with a lot of side plots, sub-plots, and deep philosophical pontificating.

Those similarities are not an accident.

Rico Slade is a movie action hero himself.

Rico Slade leads the readers on a journey, which leaves them wondering which parts of Rico’s life are real and which parts are just an self-created illusion. It does the same thing a good action movie does in that regard. “That gunshot wound looks so real. I can’t be real, though, can it?”

Like TV Snorted My Brain, Rico Slade Will Fucking Kill You is a good time. it is short, like I said, only 122 pages, according to it’s Amazon listing, but that doesn’t inhibit the story at all. You can read it in about the amount of time it would take to watch one or two of Rico’s blockbuster action films.

You can pick it up on Amazon, where it’s $7.95 for the paperback, or $4.99 for the Kindle edition. Rico Slade Will Fucking Kill You is published by Eraserhead Press.

I know you’ve seen plenty of classic action movies, so why don’t you take a break from the tv and the neighborhood movie theater this weekend, and do something different for a change, you know, like reading a fucking book or something.

#ReadAnFnBookFridays: ‘Cannibal Fat Camp’ by Mark C. Scioneaux & David C. Hayes

CANNIBAL FAT CAMP

I’m a fat guy, and I have been a fat guy for more than a decade now. Being a fat person comes with a lot more baggage than just the few extra pounds that is wedged here and hanging there. It not only wears you down physically, but unless you’re one of those delusional, “I love my fat self,” people, it also delivers one hell of a mental beating too. 

That’s where Miles Landish, the fat kid whom the story of Cannibal Fat Camp is built around, finds himself at the beginning of the story. Despite the mental misery it causes, he can’t help but to raid the lockers of the other rich kids at his private school looking for their lunches.

He’s a fat kid out of control, and he knows it. That’s why it tortures him.

His parents, who seem more concerned over how their peers view them as parents of the fat kid than their child’s well being, decide to send him to an exclusive island getaway, which just happens to double as a fat camp established by some former fatsos determined to fleece the wealthy for as much as they possibly can. (That’s how I see it anyway.)

Once he gets to the island, he finds a few fat kids willing to be his friends, and things look like they are going to be peachier than a cold can of peach Diet Rite when things go horribly wrong on the island.

What started as a fat camp run by Jillian Michaels types, devolves into a Lord of the Flies situation where the kids are left to fend for themselves. The once domestic pigs attending the camp, quickly become wild feral hogs, whose tusks become implements of pure, bloody destruction.

It doesn’t take much imagination where the madness leads when the title of the book is Cannibal Fat Camp.

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The book was written by Mark C. Scioneaux and David C. Hayes. I’ve included their author bios from Amazon at the end of this piece. Hayes, interestingly enough, worked on a film called The Frankenstein Syndrome with one-time guest on the Acid Pop Cult Podcast, Tiffany Shepis.

Scioneaux and Hayes aren’t afraid to walk the fine line between gratuitously gory descriptions, and the well-crafted descriptions one would expect from a pair of sickos addicted to putting little black squiggly things onto a white canvas in an effort to exorcise the voices in their heads.

It’s always good to read a book that turns out to be nothing like what was imagined when it was purchased. I presumed Cannibal Fat Camp would be something Troma-esque, but it was actually closer to being in the realm of Cannibal Holocaust than Redneck Zombies.

It’s good shit.

In fact, it’s more fun than drinking milk from a cup made from chocolate chip cookies.

Another great attribute of the book is the Garbage-Pail-Kids-style cover art by Joshua Werner.

The only issue I had with it was the fat kid’s description, in terms of height and weight, was too far off from my own, and the descriptions made him sound way fatter than I am. At least that’s what I’ve been telling myself. I’ve been telling myself that over, and over, and over again. It’s given me a bit of a complex really.

You can get the Kindle edition of Cannibal Fat Camp for $2.99 right now on Amazon. It’s also available in paperback and audio.

So until you get your hands on a pair of sweat pants, a cookie cup, and a protective sleeve for your Kindle, why don’t you do something productive with your time, like reading a fucking book or something.

Author Bios borrowed from Amazon (Although we did sweeten them up with some links whenever possible)

Mark C. Scioneaux Photo borrowed from Werzombies Press

Mark C. Scioneaux Photo borrowed from Werzombies Press

Mark C. Scioneaux is the author of numerous short stories appearing in various anthologies by Blood Bound Books, Severed Press, Evil Jester Press, and others. He is also the coauthor of INSURGENT Z, and SLIPWAY GREY. HOLLOW SHELL: A ZOMBIE EPIC is an on-going serial of his that is available for download on Kindle. He is the founder of Horror for Good: A Charitable Anthology. Teaming up with Cutting Block Press, they will send all proceeds from book sales to amfAR, an international AIDS charity. It features some of the biggest names in horror and several stars on the rise. He is a member of the Horror Writers Association. He is a graduate of Louisiana State University and currently resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with his wife, Jessica. 

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David C. Hayes Photo borrowed from Trailx.com

David C. Hayes is an award-winning author, editor and filmmaker. Most recently, he has written stories for Dark Moon Books, Strangehouse Books, Evil Jester Press, Blood Bound Books and many more. His first collection, American Guignol, will be available in 2013 and he is a multiple genre anthology editor. He is the author of Muddled Mind: The Complete Works of Ed Wood Jr. and the upcoming Rottentail graphic novel as well as many screenplays, stage plays (his Dial P for Peanuts won an Ethingtony in 2011), articles and more. His films, like The Frankenstein Syndrome, Bloody Bloody Bible Camp, A Man Called Nereus, Dark Places and Back Woods, are available worldwide. He is the co-owner of Cinema Head Cheese (www.cinemaheadcheese.com), a geek culture website, and you can visit him online at www.davidchayes.com. David is a voting member of the Horror Writers Association and the Dramatists Guild. He likes creepy hugs and all kinds of cheese. David is a graduate of Michigan State University, National University, Grand Canyon University and Walden University. He lives in the wilderness of Michigan with his tolerant wife, Sandy.

#ReadAnFnBookFridays: The Road Warriors: Danger, Death, and the Rush of Wrestling By Joe Laurinaitis

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I wasn’t going to include this book in our weekly #ReadAnFnBookFridays initiative, but then i learned Wrestlemania was this weekend, April 6, 2014, so I relented on my intended omission.

Way back in 2011, Joe Laurinaitis, aka Road Warrior Animal, followed the path of many wrestlers before him and wrote a book recounting his career with Michael Hegstrand, aka Road Warrior Hawk, as they proceeded to dominate the world of tag team wrestling in every wrestling organization the duo joined.

For me, this book was one of those impulse buys, made while I was tooling around on Amazon. In the past, I was a big wrestling fan, but over the past five or six years, I haven’t paid much attention to what’s going on in professional sports entertainment, although I do occasionally get out and support a few local promotions, as everyone should do from time to time.

When I look back on my wrestling fandom, the Road Warriors played a big role in getting me hooked through most of my youth. It wasn’t until I read Animal’s book, The Road Warriors: Danger, Death, and the Rush of Wrestling, that I realized how early in the Road Warriors career I became infatuated with them.

The Superstation, WTBS, made its way into my family’s home some time around 1983, or maybe even 1982. From there, it didn’t take me long to find matches from the NWA on my television. At the time, I was seven, or eight, and it was the Road Warriors who were my first wrestling crush.

They were big. They were mean. They had crazy face paint, and eventually, they even came out to the Black Sabbath classic, Iron Man. In fact, it was the Road Warriors who enticed me into seeking out Black Sabbath, which has become a life-long obsession.

In his book, Laurinaitis tells the tag team’s story from its beginning in Minnesota, where the pair worked as bouncers with Rick Rude, Nikita Koloff, aka Scott Simpson, and a few others who would go on to train together and eventually get the nod from Ole Anderson to join the professional wrestling circuit.

At the heart of the story, aside from Hawk and Animal’s determination to make it as professional wrestlers, is the extreme lifestyle differences between the two.

Animal, was more of the homebody, who viewed wrestling not only with a historical reverence, but with the respect of any other career path one chooses as a means to support a family. Hawk, on the other hand, was the life of the party, who was known for drinking more than everyone else, snorting more cocaine than everyone else, or even driving his car/motorcycle faster than everyone else.

They talked a mean game too.

The two managed to co-exist for almost 20 years before addiction, and erratic behavior led to the Road Warrior’s exile from televised professional wrestling, and eventually Hawk’s death in 2003.

In typical wrestling book fashion, Animal goes over key matches in his history with painstaking detail, including an almost blow-for-blow commentary for each of the tag team’s championship matches, and there were plenty of those. In fact, they started their careers with the tag team belts when Ole Anderson brought them into the wrestling organization he helped manage. It was actually Ole Anderson who devised the entire Road Warriors gimmick.

Animal pays special attention to the Road Warriors, or The Legion of Doom’s, Wrestlemania appearances.

Wrestelmania VII: The Legion of Doom wrestled Power and Glory

Wrestlemania XIII: The Legion of Doom and Ahmed Johnson faced off with the Nation of Domination for a Chicago Street Fight Match.

Wrestlemania XIV: The Legion of Doom won the tag team battle royal that kicked off the event, setting them up for a shot at the title on the next pay per view event.  Notice the crowd reaction as the Legion of Doom is announced. To this day, wrestlers compare their entrances to those of the Road Warriors, wiht something they refer to as the “Road Warrior Pop.” Wrestling fans ate their gimmick up.

In between the Wrestlemania’s there were the issues of Hawk’s growing issues with substance abuse, and his dependability issues. It was eventually the issue that split the pair apart.

All of it is detailed in Animal’s book.

He also touches on his family life quite a bit, including his son, James Laurinaitis, who has played Linebacker for the St. Louis Rams since 2009.

Overall the book is a pretty good read. There isn’t a lot of dirt dishing in it, like there is in some other wrestling books, but the Road Warriors story is one that doesn’t need salacious stories like those to be good.

They dominated the sport from the first time they ever stepped into the ring.

You can get the ebook at Amazon for $4.99, or go for the paperback or hardcover editions for a few bucks more.

If classic wrestling is your thing, check it out. Otherwise, until next week, why don’t you read a fucking book or something.

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Hamsterdamned! – This week’s #ReadAnFnBookFridays Book

Cover Art by Bill Hauser

Cover Art by Bill Hauser

Over the past few years I’ve finally managed to shake the book snobbery a college education can instill in a young person interested in literature, and I’ve learned to love quirky tales without a hint of pretension anywhere in them.

Thank goodness for that, otherwise I never would have read Hamsterdamned! by Adam Millard.

The story isn’t that complicated.

Some guys go to Amsterdam to have one final blowout rager in honor of the upcoming marriage, and pending transformation into adulthood and responsibility. While there having a good time, boozing, stripper-gazing and weed smoking, things go horribly wrong. A small gang of raging hamsters eat some bad space cake, grow to enormous size, and terrorize the town.

Upon seeing the

promotional material from StrangeHouse Books when the book was released a month ago, and realized what the story was about, I was immediately on board. The concept sounded brilliant, and cover art by Bill Hauser, which reminds me of the classic arcade game Rampage, only made the book that much more enticing.

Rampage World Tour (Photo from www.Gamespot.com)

Rampage World Tour (Photo from http://www.Gamespot.com)

There is no fluff, or bullshit in this book. The story moves ahead without pause, making it hard to put down. I read my first hunk of the book in the waiting room of a doctor’s office, but when I picked it up again later that day, I went straight through to the end.

Good shit.

It’s available on Amazon, and is priced at $2.99 for the Kindle edition and $6.99 for the paperback. I got the Kindle version, but I’m thinking about ordering the paperback just for the artwork.

Read an interview with author Adam Millard about the book at StrangeHouseBooks.com

This is the third or fourth StrangeHouse Books title we’ve covered this year. We highly recommend following them on Facebook to keep up with the newest releases.

Now that you’re finished reading/scanning/judging this post, why don’t you go read a fucking book or something.

A Special #ReadAnFnBookFridays With Charles Bukowski

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I tried reading a book for this week’s post, per usual, but ditched the idea when I realized the book I was trying to read sucked, and I don’t want to feature books that suck on #ReadAnFnBookFridays. I hate having to rip into someone else’s creative work just because I don’t care for it, especially when there are apparently others, according to some reviews I read, who think it’s great.

So I’m just skipping it, and moving on to Plan B.

Plan B is inspired by a recent episode of the WTF? Podcast with Marc Maron, in which he interviews comedian Duncan Trussell. The comedians’ conversation eventually gets to a discussion about a Charles Bukowski poem called The Shoelace.

Bukowski, if you’re not familiar, was a notoriously drunken poet, novelist, who found fame in the 60s and 70s with his bleak views. Among his most popular work, is the story that became the film Barfly starring Mickey Rourke. He’s also well known for his book Post Office, which recounts his years of doing mind-numbing work for the USPS prior to devoting his life to writing and drinking full time.

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Bukowski’s The Shoelace is a poem explaining its the little things in life that ultimately get to us, and drive us all nuts. I was only introduced Bukowski during the past five or six years. The Shoelace was one of the first pieces I found I could connect with, but it certainly wasn’t the only one.

Wow. Right?

Bukowski’s notoriety as a drinker and misfit sometimes overshadows his work to the point where you’re often left wondering if I just found this stuff somewhere, and didn’t know anything about Bukowski, would I still even like it?

Ultimately, I think the answer for some is yes. And those few are the ones who are probably just as mentally askew as he was. The rest of us, would probably just pass a lot of it off as being scribblings of a madman. This makes documentaries about his life quite interesting.

There are several documentaries on YouTube to check out, including The Bukowski Tapes, nearly four hours of seemingly just about every interview ever filmed, but this one is far shorter, and hits all the same highlights.

And of course, as a pop culture icon of sorts, there are plenty of Bukowski spoofs out there, the best of which in recent years is Bill Cosby Bukowski, an artistic mashup by comedian Jon Daly, known for writing stunning Jelloems.

Here he is on the Comedy Death Ray Podcast, which eventually became Comedy Bang Bang,  alongside Scott Aukerman and Nick Swardson. Here he reads the poem, “I Wish I had Titties” and “Who is the Most Fuckable Huxtable” I think this is the first appearance of Bill Cosby Bukowski I ever heard.

Next week, I know I have a good book lined up, because I started it last night and can’t wait to get back into it and finish it off. I’m not going to reveal the title yet, but it is a book about weed-crazy hamsters in Amsterdam. Until then, why don’t you read a fucking book or something.

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#ReadAnFnBookFridays: The Importance of Being Ernest: The Life of Jim Varney (The Stuff Vern Doesn’t Even Know)

Jim Varney was consumed by the desire to perform, and over time he proved to everyone he was damn good at it. He could have done anything, and did in his early days, but he eventually became the integral part of a marketing machine that not only made him a wealthy man, but made his face one of the most identifiable in show business for many years.

For many actors, this might sound like a dream come true, but when you are a multi-talented performer, who is trapped in a part that is a cultural sensation like Varney’s Ernest P. Worrell character, it can be a blessing and a curse.

Varney’s nephew, Justin Lloyd, explores this conundrum faced by his uncle, in the book, The Importance of Being Ernest: The Life of Jim Varney (The Stuff Vern Doesn’t Even Know). LLoyd’s familial connections opened the door for him to get to the heart of the real Jim Varney, which is something very few were seemingly able to do.

The book begins before Jim does, with a peek into his family’s origins in West Virginia and Kentucky, and then follows Jim as he struggled to find his way as a performer before Ernest was ever conceived. Then it covers his big break, the massive wave of popularity it started, and Jim’s sudden crash right when he was finally starting the get the roles he’d wanted throughout his entire career.

Justin Lloyd paints the picture of a man without pretentions, who was humble, and loyal to a fault. He also shows us Jim’s battles with depression, alcoholism, and relationships. These are the kinds of things he was able to put out of his mind while harassing his neighbor Vern during commercial shoots, or mugging into the camera with his jaw moving like a swinging bridge in a wind storm and saying, “Eeeeewwww.”

The following is what I took away from reading Jim Varney’s life story, so you can stop reading now, and just go buy the book and read it yourself if you want, and avoid my blatherings altogether. You can find links to the book and associated social media channels at the bottom of the page. Fair warning.

MSDERGO EC004

From Ernest Goes to Jail.

While I love Ernest, and appreciate the fact there are so many movies, thousands of commercials, and a tv show, I also wish Varney would have gotten the opportunities to take off the Ernest costume and play roles beyond the physical comedy he was known for, even though I know that opportunity would have probably been the death of the character, and I wouldn’t have nearly as much Ernest footage to watch today.

Even though I grew up watching Ernest, I didn’t know his real name until I was an adult. He was always just Ernest to me. I never imagined he could do, or be, anything else. In that respect, I, like everyone else, was guilty of putting Jim Varney into a cage, and then standing outside the bars watching intently to see what he would do next. While Jim Varney played a character, who some might consider to be the equivalent of a dumb animal at the zoo, he was most certainly not dumb. He knew he was in a cage, and he wanted the opportunity to get out and walk around for a while. He just couldn’t reach the keys so he could unlock the door.

I have had jobs where I was so good at specific aspects of it, I believed I would never be promoted to a higher position because I was so much better at it than anyone who had the job before ever dreamed of being, that promoting me to another position would be detrimental to the company. It was the kind of situation that made want to bang my head against the wall after a while, and it was a job I didn’t even really like all that well to begin with.

I eventually just quit and walked away. It took the better part of five years to eventually find a gig making the same amount of money I left behind.

Jim Varney lived in that kind of job for almost his entire career. Even though he made millions, and that’s not speculation, it’s in the book, I can only imagine he felt the same way I did, but walking away from that kind of financial security is much harder than leaving the average job.

I had a lot of respect for Jim Varney when I started reading the book, but now that I’ve finished it, I’ve got even more respect for the man.

It wasn’t easy being Ernest.

Until the next #ReadAnFnBookFridays post comes around why don’t you turn off the TV, the computer, and the phone for a while, and read a fucking book or something. Know what I mean?

Right now on Amazon, The Importance of Being Ernest: The Life of Actor Jim Varney (The Stuff Vern Doesn’t Even Know), is available for Kindle ($7.99) or paperback ($10.40).

You can also find The Importance of Being Ernest on  Facebook and on Twitter @JimVarneyBook

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#ReadAnFnBookFridays: Vampire Guts in Nuke Town by Kevin Strange

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Ok, so I’ve been in a bit of a rut when it comes to reading, but it’s a rut I’m enjoying, so what am I gonna do about it, huh? Over the past few weeks, I’ve read several titles from Strangehouse Books, and I’m back with another one this week.

This time, it’s Kevin Strange’s book Vampire Guts in Nuke Town.

You’re probably thinking the same thing I thought when I saw the title.

“Oh no, not another vampire book.”

I almost didn’t buy it because of the vampire factor.

Vampires and zombies are two subjects I have little patience for these days. I’ve been suffering from undead overload for a long time now.

There were three things that swayed my opinion.

It didn’t look like the usual vampire novel.

There were no super-sexy vampires on the cover.

The slimy, tentacle-laden artwork on the cover of the book was anything but sexy, thanks to some great illustration work by Gabriel Wyse.

Then there was the element of it being set in a post-nuclear disaster world where all the rules have been changed was another draw to this title. Yeah, it’s been done before too, but this sounded different, and it lived up to my expectations.

Finally, the thing that convinced me to take a chance on it was the enjoyment i found in other Strangehouse Books i’ve read recently, those being  Alien Smut Peddlers from the Future by Kent Hill and McHumans by Vampire Guts author Kevin Strange

Kevin Strange

Kevin Strange can be found on Twitter @KevinTheStrange

Rather than me fumbling through a plot description, here’s what it says on Amazon about Vampire Guts in Nuke Town:

Guts is a bad motherfucker in a bad, bad world. The government nuked the sky ten years ago to combat a super fast spreading virus that turns humans into blood thirsty, ravenous killing machines that look more like giant, mutated bats than people. The new sky kills these “vampires” instantly, but at a cost. The entire planet is slammed with mega-high doses of radiation every time the sun comes up, completely changing life on earth as we know it, and completely decimating what little civilization there is left.

In Nuke Town, Guts wakes up in a strange motel with no memory of how he got there. A brother and sister duo are the only two humans in sight, but are they friend or foe? As the paranoia sets in, and Guts begins to understand the true implications of a nest of sophisticated, mutated vampires, he must use all the cunning and skills that his years in the wasteland have taught him if he hopes to survive the horror that awaits him in … VAMPIRE GUTS IN NUKETOWN!

Guts’s wife and children were taken out by ‘The Infestation’ of vampirism courtesy of the fallout that destroyed the planet. Now he’s just a bitter man looking to put a stop to the madness.

Guts is one of those badass characters who doesn’t allow any obstacle to stand in the way of his goal. He goes straight to the heart of this vampire thing and learns the dirty little secret behind it. He also learns how they just continue to keep coming out in seemingly larger numbers as time goes by. Guts also has a few secrets of his own that make him one of the best-qualified on the planet to put an end to this mess.

There are a lot of neat little characters and mutants in Vampire Guts in Nuke Town, that make it an original tale that kept me interested despite my lack of enthusiasm about vampire stories. I’m glad I gave it a chance, because it didn’t take long for me to realize it wasn’t the typical vampire story.

These vampires weren’t exactly the run-of-the-mill, supermarket-fiction vampires that dominate the genre. These fangers were more or less a new species of bloodsucking mutant incapable of surviving underneath the radiated sky during daylight hours. These vampires were different enough to make me forget my biases.

Then there is the issue of Pogs. These portly pests scavenge the land, but do so at their own risk because their blood is highly sought after for its psychoactive properties. Their blood dope is also quite addictive, as Guts finds out in his encounter with a couple of junkies who try to con him.

This book sat in my Kindle library for several months before I finally decided to read it. As I said, even after buying it, the word vampire kept me from jumping in with enthusiasm.

It turns out that was a mistake on my part. I liked Vampire Guts in Nuke Town much better than I did the previous Kevin Strange book I read, McHumans. That’s not a knock against McHumans either.

I don’t know whether it’s me or the material, but the characters in Vampire Guts in Nuke Town resonated more with me than the ones in McHumans. I was so into Guts’s journey, I had a hard time putting it down. That wasn’t the case with McHumans. It’s probably just me.

Whatever the case, just check it out some time, or take a look at some other Strangehouse Books titles. They haven’t disappointed yet.

You can get the Vampire Guts in Nuke Town Kindle Edition on Amazon for $2.99, or a paperback copy for just $9.98.

In the meantime, though, why don’t you make it a point to read a fucking book or something.

Follow the author on Twitter @KevinTheStrange

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The Strangehouse Books Website

Cover illustration by Gabriel Wyse

#ReadAnFnBookFridays: ‘McHumans’ by Kevin Strange

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When Ricky isn’t banging the crippled girl in the dead body cooler of the human butcher shop, he’s trying to save the human race from becoming fast food for Cthulu and his minions. 

In the world Kevin Strange, of Strangehouse Books, created in McHumans that’s humanity’s only purpose — food.

Ricky is a killer, albeit a reluctant one.

His job in this world is to kill the people who will be processed into food. it’s a job that gets complicated. For example, when his buddy is outed for conspiring in an escape plan and implicates him while being interrogated by one of the old ones, he is forced to kill or be killed.

Kevin Strange (Photo from StrangehouseBooks.com)

Kevin Strange (Photo from StrangehouseBooks.com)

When the time comes for a big celebratory feast, Ricky coerces some of his other kitchen cohorts into doing everything necessary to save the species.

Strange created a world that is kind of like a combination of South Park and Spongebob Squarepants and the classic works of H.P. Lovecraft. While he doesn’t fall into Lovecraft’s habit of being overly verbose and peppering his stories with unnecessarily big words, he does bring Cthulu into the mix, has a character named Chef, and feature an underwater world.

McHumans is yet another quick, entertaining read with out of the ordinary circumstances, humor, and a twisted sensibility. It’s the kind of book we love here at Acid Pop Cult. We had enough of that War and Peace shit in high school and college. We like books that are fun and entertaining.

While Strange might not save the world with this book, Ricky might in the story, which is good enough for our recommendation.

You can pick up the Kindle version on Amazon for cheap.

This is the second Strangehouse Books title we’ve featured on Read a Fucking Book Fridays. The first was Alien Smut Peddlers From the Future. They’re two for two on good reads to this point.

And just a not here, you might notice that every Read a Fucking Book Friday selection has a digital version available, and there is a good reason for this. I’m about as blind as a mole driving his Mercedes straight toward the setting sun. No matter how hard I squint and strain, I can’t see shit without a little help. In the case of reading books, that help comes in the ability to make the text on my Kindle big enough for people 10 feet away to read along with me.

So whether you’re damn near blind, or whatever, it shouldn’t stop you from taking some time this week to read a fucking book or something.