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The Beard

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  106 ratings  ·  25 reviews
A free, serialized online novel. David Glum decides to quit everything, move back home, and grow a beard before embarking on a surreal cross-country trip that might have something to do with saving the world.
HTML, 200 pages
Published March 2009
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Community Reviews

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I once read this in a copy of The L.A. Weekly...
Think of the worst Thai restaurant you ever ate at. Pretty good, wasn't it?

That's how I feel about Andersen Prunty books. The Beard is easily my least favorite of his tales but it is still pretty damn good. In fact, I feel guilty rating it at three stars (actually three and a half stars) but considering the legitimately high ratings I gave to his other works. it feels justified. Prunty is a five star writer in my book, the Nadia Comenici of authors
If William Burroughs had anal sex with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and they had a butt-baby that wrote like Dean Koontz and the Dean Koontz butt-baby ghost-wrote an autobiography for Justin Beiber, it would be nothing like Andersen Prunty’s THE BEARD. I say that because I like THE BEARD and I do not like ghost-writing butt-babies. With that being said, I will heartily recommend this book. This is a story of scruffy facial hair and hallucinogenic sandwiches and elephant winds and father imposters ...more
Andersen Prunty
Oct 31, 2009 Andersen Prunty added it  ·  (Review from the author)
This is now available as a free .pdf or ePub download to Goodreads users (find the button on the right under the ads and stuff). Reviews appreciated. It's also available as a trade paperback and Kindle download on Amazon.
Daniel Clausen

Warning: One or two spoilers in the mix.

So I traded this book for a copy of my own and I don't regret it.

An elephant wind. That’s what this book is. You probably don’t know what that means. If you try to picture it your mind, you might get some idea of what the book is. You’ll definitely know what that means after you read the book and then you can decide whether that statement is accurate or not—but for now, perhaps it’s sufficient to say that the book is an elephant wind. I took up the book
Grant Wamack
Great novel. Prunty tells the tale of David Glum who grows a beard while embarking on a surreal journey. He attempts to find himself and his purpose in life.Full of mythology and adventure,The Beard questions identity and is sure to please any fan of weird fiction.Plus,it's free.
Mike Kleine
From the quaint Ernest Hemingway nod in the first couple of pages to the final notes on the home toward the end of the novel, Andersen Prunty's THE BEARD reads like the Great American novel of 2009 that never was.

THE BEARD begins by asking the interesting question: "what happens to the authentic character when it is subject to strange situations?"

There is a moment in THE BEARD, shortly after the introduction, when the main character, David Glum, appearing to be stuck in an instance of self-actu
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 16, 2010 Kate rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: surrealists
Shelves: bizarro, e-books
If you like Salvador Dali, you'll enjoy this book.

David Glum was first a writer. Then a napper. Then a beard grower. After that he became an unemployed philosopher. Then an adventurer, until finally he found his calling as a dreamer.

Come along, if you dare, on this surreal journey with David and his father. It will be full of trippy bus rides, imposters, hallucinogenic sandwiches, Nefarions from the Malific ocean, elephant winds, lawn mowing maniacs, and last but certainly not least a flame call
I read this book backwards, or at least semi backwards. I read it from the top of the blog down, so I read the chapters frontwards in the backwards order. Why would I do this? I felt like it. Perhaps someday I will reread it in the frontwards order. I think chapter 18 is the best chapter and that it has a fun feel where the story seems to be attempting to be about a beard regardless of all the other silly things going on, though perhaps I am title bias. Regardless it isn't particularly long and ...more
Nathaniel Lambert
Loved it. If Holden Caulfield rented a timeshare in Vegas, only to find out he double booked with Hunter Thompson, and then they both sat down over a buffett of mind-altering drugs and wrote a book, I THINK it might be something like THE BEARD.

Donald Armfield
Imagine having an impostor of your self or people around you. In this Hallucinogen eating sandwich story with the works. will have you laughing at David Glum who just wanted To get his book published.
Now excuse me while I got take a nap and grow a beard.
It was SUPER excellent. Trippy, weird, completely nonsensical and I LOVED IT. Quick summary with no spoilers: The main character in the opening scene sees his grandfather taken away by what he had just learned was an Elephant Wind. A weird tribe of people called the Nefarions take his grandfather through the Malefic ocean to their island on the wind of elephants after the grandfather has stolen their source of life, an unstoppable flame named Brilliance. Fast forward twenty years and the main ch ...more
Kyle D Lawrence
This is one of the best books, I have had the privilege of reading. A book has the power to create a world, and make you feel part of it, at least the good ones. This book based around the decision to grow a beard takes the reader deep into a world of bizarre events, characters and outcomes. It has a great story, well developed characters and hilarious dialogue. I will recommend this book to all I can, because there is so much to love about the story, and I hope anyone reading this gives this bo ...more
Ken Sodemann
This was a tough one to review. I gave it four stars at first because the beginning was really good. In the middle, it got really really lame. Like "drunk college kid thinking he's being philosophical and creative" lame. It just seemed to be random weirdness for the sake of random weirdness and didn't particularly move the story along or develop the characters or make a point or pretty much anything. So, it dropped to a two at that point (would have been one it was so lame, but the quality of th ...more
Such is the inflexibility of the Goodreads ranking system, I’ve been wondering whether to go for two or three stars, as really I’d give this book two and a half – but I’m feeling generous so I’ll go for three.

This is a quest tale which leans heavily into the absurdist/surrealist. For example there is a sandwich-maker/cobbler who sells hallucinogenic sandwiches. This kind of weirdness builds and builds until the reader is willing to accept virtually anything. However this quirkiness can be irrita
weird, strange, unusual and somehow entertaining enough to keep me reading it. read it to discover about elephant wind, nefarions, hallucinogenic sandwiches and impostors. ah, the book is available online for free :)
Matthew Vaughn
I discovered Andersen Prunty through the Bizarro community. Even so the books I’ve read from him are more horror, or thriller than anything else. His book The Beard on the other hand is pure Bizarro fun. It’s a very original adventure narrated by David Glum, who after failing to get his first book published decides to go home and grow a beard. David sets out on a journey to find his grandfather who was kidnapped by the Nefarions. There are lots of interesting and bizarre characters throughout th ...more
Chris Bowsman
After reading Andersen Prunty's The Beard, I doubt if I'll ever have the courage to shave again.

Not really. Actually, I finished it last night, and shaved today. There's nothing scary in this book about beards (or shaving). It it not horror, but it is an immensely enjoyable read. This book would make an excellent introduction to the world of Bizarro fiction. Lots of strange characters and settings, but no weird-for-the-sake-of-weird. Heavy on the fun and subtle humor.
George Ibarra
Great introduction, however the book never lives up to the standard Prunty sets in the prologue. The beginning reminded me of Bradbury. The body was the usual prose found in bizarro fiction.

It's an enjoyable book. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who doesn't already enjoy Prunty's work or the bizarro genre, though.

Prunty missed out on turning this into one of the great travel novels of the new century.
Kate Jonez
The Beard by Andersen Prunty is an excellent introduction to the bizzaro genre. The story follows a dream logic and is surreal at times. It is never difficult for the sake of being difficult or weird for the sake of weirdness. The book has a fascinating internal logic that leads the reader toward the goal of finding brilliance. Sprinkled along the way the author drops gems of sparkling insight.
Great book by a great author. Not my fave Prunty book but plenty of bizarre twists and turns. I had been growing an amazing beard myself when I started reading this book (beard was 10 months long) after finishing this book, I promptly shaved it off.
Sean Morrow
I would usually consider calling a book "delightful" to be an insult, but this book was delightful in a good way.Fun, funny, weird. Sometimes tries too hard to be weird, but I have learned to forgive.
Jim Gavin
check out my huge long review of this book on my blog:
Kipp Poe
Another great read from Andersen Prunty taking you on a journey of what dreams are made of
I will read more prunty
Cinabru Hoffmann
Cinabru Hoffmann marked it as to-read
May 28, 2015
Ryon marked it as to-read
Apr 24, 2015
Amcii Cullum
Amcii Cullum marked it as to-read
Apr 15, 2015
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Andersen Prunty lives in Ohio. He writes novels and short stories. Visit him at
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“  “If we’re meant to have the flame then we’ll have the flame. If we’re meant to find your father then we’ll find your father. It’s really as simple as that. We could have tried to hold onto the flame. We could have jumped in the river after it. But what would happen then? We would have had to chase it and our only purpose is to find your father. The more you chase something, the farther away it gets.” 0 likes
“How much of our life is an act, anyway? You become a parent, you play a role. You act happy when you’re depressed. You act like you are enthused by some things that hold no interest for you whatsoever. But sometimes, through this acting, this repeatedly telling yourself you really do like something, some form of appreciation sprouts.” 0 likes
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