Venus on the Half-Shell by Kilger Trout

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Kilger Trout is a familiar name among Vonnegut fans, the fictional sci fi writer whose existence every reader secretly wished and googled for. Though Farmer’s version made Vonnegut cross, who according to internet overstatement legends, had dismissed the novel as a fakers drivel (mostly coz of creator ambiguity, which was later cleared by a by-line), I found it pretty fab.

This book is weird, comical, extremely absurd, reference filled and absolutely staggering. I was enraptured from the very introduction itself, and found it a worthy source(successor) material for that brief Trout plot from God Bless You Mr. Rosewater. Novel follows facetious accounts of Simon Wagstaff in his quest for “definitive answer to the most important question” (which I believe Douglas Adamas later payed homage to), with a peculiar Scheckley like sci fi humour. For a book that is propelled by its absurdness, it was delightfully scientific and philosophical at parts. Well, after fist few chapters fun seemed to dwindle and absurdity went a large, making me a bit Vonnegut-ish, only to have it compensated in long run.

rick-and-morty42Novel opened up with a Gunslinger like hero in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy scenario. Then on, it transcended into a series of Mindswap style adventures of our Space cowboy and his little Guardians of the Galaxy gang with Anubis the dog, Athena the owl, and his super hot alien robot girlfriend – Chworktap[anagram for Patchwork] (yes, arguments are invalid). There were tons of literary references during this loquacious honky-tonk, on which the novel hilariously craps on. Exploding Star creating a new religion, Titanic and Icarus Spaceship company, 2001 A Space Odessy conscious AI, even Westworld, Doctor Who Face of Boe feline society, Shaltoonian’s Assassins Creed, Hwang Ho for Millennium Falcon, Cowboy Bebop, Reichenbach falls and Sherlock Holmes with Ralf von Wau Wau are a few I had fun picking at. Oh and that uncanny resemblance between Sommers’ John Clayter series and Doctor Who porn parody.

Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, figures

Venus on half shell is the Rick and Morty of sci-fi literature. It is like one of those day dream fantasy we devour as college sophomores and cringe on later in maturity. Anyway I found myself googling Jonathan Sommers III, Farmer’s Kilger Trout to fill the void left by this.

If you are weird and like weird things, this book is for you.


Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes: A No-Bullshit Guide to World Mythology


“So Persephone is the daughter of this chick Demeter
who is the goddess of like fertility and crops and whatnot
and she is also incredibly hot.
So hot, in fact
that Hades is down in the underworld (which is also called Hades actually)
and he looks up one day and he sees her and he goes “DAAAAAAAAAAA
I gotta get me some of that.”
So he just pops on up to the world in his black chariot of ultimate wretchedness
and he says “Hey, little girl do you want to come to hell?”
and she probably would have said no
only he kidnapped her.”

Now you have the idea, read along myths like a stand up comedy. Go, have a few good laughs, If you are up for this.

If is your reason to read the book, prepare to be a bit disappointed. Nevertheless, this is a hilarious take on popular myths with little care given on writing, punctuation and language. Book is laugh out loud funny for most parts, at least till you find the usual style annoying. Then on it feels like an overstayed welcome, a trying too hard charade with occasional laughs, extirpating whatever interest you build up with these myths so far.

I have found the book really funny for the stories I am familiar with. Then there were many original myths unknown to me, ruined by this teenage ranting. This isn’t a one sit read material, but an episodic spoof for popular myths from cultures all over the world. A better analogy to this book, would be those hishe and honest trailer videos. Better understood after knowing the source material.

If you love mythologies, and are not easily offended, this is a definite reco from me. Even if you tend to be offended easily, epilogue is a go. That’s some serious arguments on science, religion and mythology, which might help you experience all the same with improved tolerance. And go have a few good laughs.