Let me begin by saying that while I’ve read bizarro books in the past, THEY HAD GOAT HEADS is probably the most hard-core I’ve seen. It is a collection of short stories, and for that, I am grateful — I’d have a hell of a time sorting through one of Mr. Wilson’s novels at this point, I think. These shorts were the perfect introduction to his work. The stories had me laughing, horrified, and going “wtf?” – all at the same time. Brilliant!
Some of my favorites:
“The Movie That Wasn’t There” – gives meaning to that whole “life-passing-before-your-eyes” at the moment of death concept
“Quality of Life” – in which memories can escape from one’s nose in an unstoppable leaking viscous fluid
“Victrola” – creepy and cool, like the scene from a David Lynch film
“The Sister” – complete with some great illustration by Skye Thorstensten
“The Egg Raid” – in which a boy faces the break up of his family in a most disturbing way
All the stories in this book have a message – they just take some decoding. I found Wilson’s book to be a puzzle of sorts, a series of brain teasers. The juxtaposition of seemingly unrelated objects and/or situations will have you seeing the world in new ways in no time. This book, like most bizarro books, is about expanding your consciousness, turning worlds inside-out, and just maybe making you laugh. I referred to “Victrola” as reminiscent of a David Lynch piece, but really, the whole book reads like a David Lynch script, broken down into more easily digestible fun-sized pieces. And I love David Lynch.
I highly recommend THEY HAD GOAT HEADS. It’s a thin volume, but it may take you some time to work through its fun house twists and turns. I am so looking forward to reading D. Harlan Wilson’s other offerings — he’s just what I’ve been looking for among the stacks of vanilla-flavored authors that cram the shelves of the big chain bookstores.
THEY HAD GOAT HEADS is scheduled for release in August. To read more about it, and to pre-order a signed copy, visit Atlatl Press