Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Do Butterflies Belch?


When I were a lad, I came across an author called Mark Leyner. I'm not quite sure how, but it had something to do with working in a big bookshop at the time. The book I came accross was called 'My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist'. Perhaps it was the title that drew me to it. Any road up, I picked it up, and started reading it. It blew my mind.
I was used to reading books that had a story, a meaning, a pattern. This didn't. It was chaos, and confusion. It was anarchy as far as I was concerned. I loved it. There was science fiction laced with body building, murder, and sushi. 'Surreal humour for the MTV generation' I imagine Paul Morley calling it.
I was hooked. I found another of his books, 'et tu babe', and once again he weaved his words and pretty much destroyed my ideas about how we should read.
I have to point out that this was about 14 years ago (I was 14 years younger than I am now), but I still have those books, and others by him, which I love and cherish.
The reason I mention the great Mark Leyner is that.. you know those books that sell really well over xmas, 'why do men have nipples' and 'why do men fall asleep after sex'. He co-wrote them. I realised this a few months ago, and sort of internally raised my eyebrows (if you know what I mean).
I decided to check his backlist today (cult fiction,you see) and to my amazement there's nothing available in the UK!

Here they are. Two of Mark's books( I found a bus ticket in 'I smell Esther Williams' on page 140. Apparently I was on the 91 and I was reading it on 14th September 1995). I also have 'Dream date with Di', another freakshow of a book. I urge you to have a look at Mark Leyner.
I hope he'll be re-issued this year, 'cos i'm missing 'Toothprints On a Corndog', and I also think he's a bit of a star.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I read My Cousin... and Dream Date with Di and loved them too, though sadly in my most recent cull of books they met their demise - I don't love them enough to keep them. But I did read one of those odd medical books he was involved in and thought, "umm, why is he doing this?"