CCLaP: Elephant Vice, by Chris Meekings

elephant

Elephant Vice
By Chris Meekings
Eraserhead Press/New Bizarro Author Series
Reviewed by Karl Wolff

After an influx of an illegal drug hits the coast community of Maybe Beach, two cops are called on to solve the case. Since this is a bizarro novella by Eraserhead Press, things will get weird pretty fast. It turns out the two cops called in are Vincent van Gogh and Ganesha. This mismatched pair learns that this new drug “turns people into the object their essence most resembles.” Chris Meekins, part of Eraserhead’s stable of new authors, seamlessly brings together an absurdist premise around a gripping cop thriller story. No easy task, since the pairing could fall into the domain of camp. The humor bubbles to the surface because every character is played straight.

As the story develops, we learn about a rogue gang of flamingos and meet Ganesha’s assistant, Trish. She’s a normal girl except she has bubblegum for hair and drives Ganesha and Vincent around in a filled bathtub. Meekings keeps the plot lunging forward as Vincent and Ganesha discover more and more dead bodies killed by the drug. We also learn about a mysterious character named M. Equal parts hard-boiled detective novel and Art History 101, Elephant Vice had me riveted right up to the end. For those who like their fiction a little strange, this is the novel for you. Violence, romance, thwarted love, jealousy, and a Hindu God and the master of French Post-Impressionism teaming up to solve crimes.

Out of 10/9.0

 

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