In a career that spans well over 40 years, King of Filth John Waters still finds ways to shock audiences. Making his fiction debut with this "feel-bad romance," he delivers a story that is at once absurd, sleazy, hilarious--and charming. The action centers on Marsha Sprinkle, luggage thief and con artist extraordinaire, for whom telling the truth is impossible. She is surrounded by a ridiculous cast of characters, such as a daughter who has a vendetta against her, a dog undergoing an identity crisis, and a talking penis. Does any of it make sense? Probably not; this is a story that takes on any number of hilarious twists,and teems with ideas that only John Waters could come up with. Overall, it's irreverent and campy--mindless in the best possible ways.
Through a beautiful consideration of human ingenuity, creativeness, and hubris, Frank's collection of poetry interrogates what "life" means in an increasingly automated world. From questions about what it is to create life and what it is about the machinations of humanity that make one truly alive to how, through the act of creation and the desire to bring forth something eternal, humans reach for a spark of the divine, Frank evokes a consistent sense of wonder that is also a lament for the human proclivity to wield destruction.
Darnielle delivers a nuanced look at the true crime genre in his eerie and melancholy Devil House. The novel is bookended by Chandler Gage whose latest project--an unsolved double murder--takes him to a small town in Southern California at the height of the 1980s Satanic Panic. As he investigates questions of agency and ethics, especially regarding the victims in the stories he tries to tell, Gage revisits his past work and examines the larger context of victimization, a process Darnielle powerfully evokes through a fascinating amalgam of gothic horror, true-crime procedural, indictment of gentrification, and much more. The result is a compelling page-turner that reminds readers that there is always more to the story than what meets the eye.