JEFF WEDDLE REVIEWS DEATH THING BY ANDREW HILBERT
So, I was twaddling along, minding my own business, stalking strangers silently on Facebook. You know, the usual. Like you don’t do it? Right. You see an interesting comment on some random post that pops up on your newsfeed. Maybe the commenter has a cool avatar. Maybe you click through their profile, read their posts, look at their pictures, judge their taste in friends, look at their friends’ pictures, see where they live…. Jesus, okay. When you break it down like that, it sounds a little creepy. But judge me at your peril. We’re all putting ourselves out there for the world to see, right? That’s the point of the technology. And sometimes, something good comes of it. In this case, I found a new author to admire and a book to frag my brain.
I couldn’t tell you the path by which cyber serendipity – doesn’t that sound better than “random stalking”? – brought me to Andrew Hilbert and his novella, Death Thing (Double Life Press, 2015), but I am so glad it did. Squished into a spare 142 pages, Death Thing is a grindhouse movie in words, filled with best buddies, heavy drinking, senseless killings, paranoia, mutilation, horrible, horrible burns, the hell of suburbia, law enforcement gone mad. All the good stuff. Even better, if someone told me that Hilbert didn’t write it at all, but rather it was a vintage Bukowski piece that ol’ Andrew found squirreled away in an attic someplace and published as his own, I wouldn’t bat an eye. It’s really that good. Without giving anything away, the Death Thing of the title is a car rigged to kill anyone who tries to break into it. Lots of folks try and lots of folks die. Quintin Tarantino could make such a film of this. And don’t get me started on the potential it holds for Rob Zombie. So, that’s it. Back to Facebook. Go ahead, post something that catches my eye. I dare you. Double dog. Maybe your friends have something on their pages I need to see.