B O O K S W O R T H B U R N I N G
Books by Mike Sauve
The Wraith of Skrellman
Set against the pomposity of a small-town theatre community, The Wraith of Skrellman is the story of a nearly-delusional, completely-homeless 46-year-old troubadour’s ill-fated pursuit of a beautiful teenage actress, the resentment this breeds in her precocious classmate Dave String, and the wraith of Skrellman who haunts them all with his “pornographic play-by-play” and frequent acts of occult mischief.
Elegiac at times, downright smutty at others, it’s like The Virgin Suicides if that book were a little less masterpiece and a whole lot more teen sex romp. Beneath the populist slapstick exists a literary ode to lost youth, and a mordant satire of the social conservatism of small towns.
The Apocalypse of Lloyd
A clever but obnoxious teen (think Youth in Revolt's Nick Twisp) is stuck in his parents' basement during a uniquely literary yet crowd-pleasing apocalypse. It involves not zombies but a breakdown in general logic and order. Lloyd's mother, a William Blake scholar, goes mad in a flurry of Blakean invective. Lloyd's neighbor clips toenails on her lawn. An acting group believes a tribute to Dennis Hopper might save the world.
Mayhem, murder, and forced cuckolding are kept on the periphery while Lloyd's picayune concerns over allotments of Diana Sauce are rendered in lavish detail. Gradually, the unchecked lust of the adolescent male turns out to be the primary horror.
Lloyd narrates from hell, making the novel a morality play in which Lloyd's selfishness and infidelities ultimately mire him in the pit for eternity. The book is a high-wire act blending ribald farce, horror, and heartfelt elegy, the emotional core of which is Lloyd's sadness over lost friendships and lost youth, brought into painful focus by the nearing end.
I Ain't Got No Home in This World Anymore
Back in the fictional northern Ontario city of Lac-Sainte-Catherine, Mike Sauve takes readers on a round and back adventure in the classic tradition of H.G. Wells, where two bumbling time travelers take a sad look at their past(s), their McDonald's issues and blackout binges, their sentimental pratfalls and romantic flagellations, all to try and find their way home again.
In the third non-linear installment of his L-S-C universe, first with a wraith, then with a plague, and now through time, the author again applies his slapstick sensibilities to the indignities of a small town upbringing, asserting that while our hometowns may have been good places to come from, they remain tricky places to return to—contemptuously, wistfully, or, in this case, temporally.
Chelsea Parker's Pity Party
CHELSEA PARKER’S “UNUSUALLY SOPHISTICATED prose line” is devoted not to her unexpected musical stardom, nor her eye goop condition that’s “padded the wallets of many an ear nose and throat man,” but only towards her on-again/off-again best friend: the winsome-yet-cavalier Stacey Jalapeno, recipient of all Chelsea’s cruellest meme-based zingers, yet also her most sublimated affections. Things get weird as the lifelong frenemies reach a rarified strata of fame and power. Rather than tiresome zombies or Forever 21 vampires, the action involves paranormal subjects including interdimensional travel, CERN bacchanals, and doppelgangers run amok. Grounding this madcap plot is the evolution of Chelsea’s relationship to Stacey—from doormat, to aggrieved litigant, to something eternally more complicated. As Chelsea is a less than wholly-reliable narrator, the real nature of her relationship to Stacey eventually emerges in a fashion that is clear to all but Chelsea herself.