Scott's Reviews > Pirate Therapy and Other Cures

Pirate Therapy and Other Cures by Mark A. Rayner
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's review
Mar 21, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: in-my-library
Read from March 21 to April 07, 2012

Mark Rayner is a genius! No, wait. Maybe not genius. Mark Rayner is hilarious! Much better. Well, maybe more like mostly hilarious partial genius. Yeah, that works. Needless to say, I really enjoy his writing. And thanks to his generosity, he emailed me and asked me if I would like to receive a copy of his new book to read and review. Yeah, that’s like asking a Red Wings’ fan if he’s interested in a ticket to a playoff game. DUH!

In all seriousness, I want to thank Mark for making the offer. I planned on buying his newest book, and at this rate, will be for years to come. His two novels were greatly entertaining, and he has become one of those authors that is an automatic buy for me (along with Neil Gaiman, China Mieville, and Jeffrey Ford).

Here’s the description on the back cover and also found on Amazon.Com:

Ever wondered what might happen if your therapist was replaced by a pirate? Or how disquieting it would be to receive postcards from your future self? If William Shatner was elected President of the United States, what would his inaugural address sound like? Mark A. Rayner tackles these and stranger questions in his collection of short stories, essays and flash fiction that thrum with the absurd and hum with alienation, all to a humorous beat. Jesus contends with dinosaurs. Marcel Duchamp describes what happens to a Dadaist who has a monkey’s tail grafted to his butt. Whether he is explaining how Anne of Green Gables destroyed the world, or outlining Thor’s new PR strategy, Rayner entertains with wit, humor and an imagination that is one step short of certifiable.

Flash fiction? What the heck is that? Well, Mr. Rayner has a blog called “The Skwib” where he posts very short, and highly amusing, little write ups. This is what fills up most of the book. I had been reading his web site a while back, but due to my busy life style had stopped. Still, a few of the stories within this collection I recognized. In some ways, this is a best of collection of what was posted on his site. Not all of it, mind you. Some of it, well actually most of it, are very short. Most of the entries only last a page. But given my familiarity of his writing style, I found it highly entertaining.

One of his characters is General Kang, a simian dictator, of a sort. Throughout this collection are entries of “Ask General Kang” like an advice column. They were scattered over the length of the book, giving the reader a nice return to a very interesting character.

There were some entries that were just jaw dropping in many ways. Jesus giving the sermon on the mount again, only to be attacked by dinosaurs, which kill Peter (for the time being), and expose Judas’ dark side. There is Batman dressing down the Justice League for being high and mighty with their super powers while riding him for being too violent on the perps he catches. It turns into a tirade stealing from Jack Nicholson’s character of Col. Jessup in “A Few Good Men”.

... you want me cruising the streets of Gotham in my Batmobile, you need me in my Batmobile!

Other treats include Zombie Pavlov, as in the doctor with the dogs. There is a great essay on why Dr. “Bones” McCoy WASN’T a whiny bitch. There was an entry on the “Clown Apocalypse” which he has written about a few times on his blog. (Would love to see more of this!) And there was also a great short story called “The Rush of Heaven Downward” which showed a different side to his writing and really impressed me. This was on top of a few entries that were highlighted in the description above (especially the postcards from the future ... great stuff!).

For those of you new to Rayner, I probably wouldn’t suggest this as the first book. Start with “Marvellous Hairy” in my opinion. Sure, this gives you an insight on his wit, but it doesn’t show the full potential and depth of his writing. However, it still is a great book.
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Reading Progress

03/30/2012 page 85
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by David (new) - added it

David Just ordered a copy

Scott I was lucky enough to have Mark email me to see if I'd be interested in a copy to review. I just started it, haven't gotten too far, but am enjoying it.

message 3: by David (new) - added it

David I read the "postcards" story already. Great stuff.

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