Genre: Short Story Collection
Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press
Okay I’ll admit it. I like the crazy. Seriously give me MiddleMarch on easy chair within easy reach to a plate full of nibbles or John Dies at the End in a truck stop washroom, and I’ll be wiping my bum with my hand before I rip a page out (at least until I finish it).
However in an effort to sound sophisticated at literary dive bar events I’ll have to make a effort into reading more urrgh “literary fiction” maybe one day I will post a review of MiddleMarch.
Today is not that day. So with that out of the way, coming from Australia, the land of the crazy (definition of crazy being anyone who willingly chooses to live in the same island as the closest thing we have to a dinosaur instead of swimming away as soon as they learn how to swim), comes Look Who’s Morphing.
Like The This & The That, Tom Cho aspires for that let’s see-what-sort-of dark-little-things-my-imagination-can-think-up genre. It’s a rainbow vomit of Tom Cho’s childhood and his family intermixed with surgical enhancements to be a Muppet, to turning into Godzilla and a classroom army size of Japanese chicks giving a monster handjob, and a orgy of Fonzies. And it reads like the imagination of a kid hiding in a cardboard box and plastic toy figures running amok him his head, after a Saturday morning marathon of 80s cartoons and a bellyful of every sugary cereal with a cartoon on the front.
If you were to recall my review of The This & The That, that was LSD addict trying to describe being beaten up by Big Bird’s wearing a dominatrix outfit. Look Who’s Morphing style is more grounded, with the childish way Tom Cho spews out plotting into his crazy little world, like a kid who has been lectured by his parents to slow down and ‘articulate’. However pinning down some central theme for The This & The That was like trying to drink oil with a fork, Look Who’s Morphing is solid enough to encapsulate the utter flux of identity where only Tom Cho on the front with an exaggerated greaser haircut and purple blood any semblance of identity when he becomes anything he imagines at the moment.
Tom Cho effectively captures the transient nature of identity and the whimsy of his writing, blurred with slices of his own life and pop culture memory, ultimately holds together this short gasping of fun.
By Joshua, a North York Writer
Recommended: Read while prepping for a the most outruaaaaggeous costume party.