Patrick D'Orazio's Reviews > The Bizarro Starter Kit

The Bizarro Starter Kit by Steve Aylett
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Nov 05, 10

Read in June, 2010

I picked up the Bizarro Starter kit, both Blue and Orange, at the recommendation of a friend who has written bizarro and felt that these two books were excellent primers on this genre. I have not read the orange yet but am looking forward to it. I have read one full length bizarro novel by Andre Duza and another short story by Carlton Melick III, both related to zombies, but little else. I have read a wide array of unique and strange fiction throughout my life, but bizarro is certainly in a class by itself.

A definition, or rather, definitions of bizarro appear at the beginning of this book, so I won't attempt to expand on them. What I can say is that based on the ten different authors, all with very unique stories, is that bizarro is not just the genre of the weird-it is a genre that allows us to step alternately into worlds of the surreal, humorous, and horrific, sometimes all at the same time. Every story in this book was stylistically different than the rest-there was no solidifying theme running through the book. They challenged me as a reader to keep up with what the author was creating at every step. It seems that in a bizarro story, things can turn dramatically on a single sentence, even when some elements are used repetitively to bring a point across. This is not a genre to hop into assuming that you will be able to relax and casually blur over certain passages and retain full comprehension of what is going on.

I won't lie and say that I "got" it with every story written here, but I was entertained by most of these efforts, amused, repulsed, and intrigued, which means that these stories kept my interest, even if I wasn't sure of the exact path that I was being led down by each author.
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