Monday, July 28, 2008

"Big Man: A Fable", by Joe Lansdale

I have to say, Joe Lansdale is nuts. Seriously. In a good way, but nuts.

How do I know this? Go read “Big Man: A Fable” over at Subterranean.

The First Paragraph:
Tim Burke was the only one to take the experimental pill. Nothing as complex as this pill had ever been invented, but since he was five foot one, his penis was small, he was balding, had flat feet and one leg shorter than the other, and an oversized mole on his nose that made that part of his face looked like an odd-shaped potato, he thought, what the hell?
The pill is supposed to make Tim beautiful, better and stronger. There would not be much of a story if everything went well for Tim. At first, it does, but the goodness only lasts a couple of paragraphs. Then it gets worse. He keeps growing. He doesn’t stop.

“Big Man” becomes absurd and grotesque, comic as only Lansdale does comic, sad, and hilarious. “Big Man” isn’t exactly a comedy, but there is some stuff so out there that it can only be comedy:

He grabbed up cars and people and chunked them high and far, tore the roof off of his own house and dropped it on them.
There is a better line about a woman with a child, but it’s worth waiting for.

With each paragraph and each page (only 2700 words to the story), “Big Man” becomes weirder and weirder. Tim Burke just keeps on growing and rampaging, like King Kong writ larger than ever.

“Big Man” is a grotesque and absurd delight.

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