Friday, February 13, 2015

WTF Friday: Hung Hounds by Donald Armfield

Every once in a while, as the mood strikes me, I like to indulge in those titles that are a bit odd . . . a bit different . . . a bit bizarre . . . and a bit freaky. These are books that don't get a lot of press, and which rarely get any retail shelf space.



They're often an underground of sort of literature, best shared through guilty whispers, and often with embarrassed grins. These are our WTF Friday reads!

This week's title is a bit of a treat, coming as it does directly from our very own Donald Armfield. It also marks something of a first for me - I had the honor of beta reading an early draft almost a year ago, so it was interesting to see how the text has evolved.

When a story takes the reader from spicy wing night at the local bar, to a bathroom catastrophe, to a room full of dismembered corpses, to a bar full of well-hung monster hounds, to a confrontation with an equally well-hung homeless guy named Kickstand, all in the space of the first two pages, you know you're in for a wild ride. Hung Hounds is a weird, wacky adventure that fully demonstrates Donald Armfield's love for (and knack for) all things Bizarro.

There's so much going on here, all at a frantic pace that barely leaves room for face-palms and belly-laughs, that I wouldn't even dream of trying to summarize the plot. Just know that it involves a clueless hero, a sexy sidekick, a retired porn stud, a crossdressing monkey, a Russian scientist in a ridiculous furry costume, an oversexed mermaid . . . and a Hulk Hogan hologram.

It all adds up to a story that, if I had to make the comparison, is what I imagine would happen if Harold and Kumar slipped into an unlicensed Indiana Jones parody, as directed by David Lynch. It's very odd, and very bizarre, but a ton of guilty fun. Style-wise, it's a bit abrupt and in-your-face, and sometimes the urge to cram in one more crazy detail outpaces the narrative itself, but that's less of a complaint and more of an observation on the whole Bizarro genre. While some of the early sexual innuendo is wasted, he more than makes up for that with a pair of climactic (pun intended) scenes.

For Donald's first novella-length piece of fiction, Hung Hounds is actually quite strong. It's a lot of fun, and firmly establishes him as a Bizarro author to watch.


Kindle Edition, 162 pages
Published November 15th 2014 by Riot Forge

3 comments:

  1. Your comparison gives me a really good idea what the story is about. Or the flavor anyway.

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  2. Thanks Bob. The publisher is actually Riot Forge. And I love the comparison. And seeing again compared to Indiana Jones. I never even thought of that movie while writing this. But see it now myself. Stay tuned I have more. Experimental Dark Fiction coming soon.

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    Replies
    1. That's what I get for trusting Goodreads! I updated the publisher. :)

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