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204 pages (July 2008); 1.2MB download
Soft Skull Press; ISBN: 978-0-9796636-7-3
The Pisstown Chaos tells the story of one family's journey in the midst of environmental and political crisis, disease and forced relocation. Power is concentrated in the hands of the Reverend Herman Hooker, an "American Divine," who revels in the sufferings of others as he spouts platitudes to the masses.
When the Reverend attempts to overcome a rampant parasite infestation by decreeing population "shifts," the members of Balls family find themselves subject to relocation at a moment's notice. The family persists through unfair imprisonment, persecution, and forced labor, subsisting on urpmeal and getting stoned on willywhack to occupy the time. Mildred Balls is imprisoned in a parasite control facility; her grandson Roe is ordered to mate with a parasite victim; and his sister Ophelia is sent to one of the Reverend's Templexes, where she will serve as an acolyte in absolute silence. Meanwhile, an evermore confused and enfeebled Reverend struggles to maintain his grip on the country as the chaos rages on.
This is David Ohle's foreboding, strange and comedic follow-up to Motorman and The Age of Sinatra, the story of one brave family's struggle against an absolute, corrupt, and increasingly irrational centralized power, and their quest to be reunited.
Praise for David Ohle and The Age of Sinatra.
"I'd like to propose that getting your head lopped off by Ohle's fiction is a strange and unforgettable experience ... In The Age of Sinatra, Ohle has seemingly concocted some sort of covert Oulipian recipe regarding the fantastic versus realism ... American readers should take note of this insurgent fiction writer, David Ohle, who flays the human condition to singular, hallucinatory effect." Village Voice, Best Books of 2004
"A friend from high school once called me in tears. He was trying to make a mobile out of dead bugs but was having trouble bringing them into balance. If he had succeeded, that mobile might resemble this book: delicate and grotesque, tragic and hilarious, precarious but perfectly balanced." Shelley Jackson, Bookforum
"Ohle continues to construct an intoxicatingly vivid and demented world that is both reflective and revolutionary." LA Weekly