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BODY by Harry Crews
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May 27, 12

Read from May 21 to 26, 2012

If it hadn't been for Harry Crews' recent death and his New York Times obituary, I'd never have had the pleasure of encountering his utterly off-kilter novels. I keep trying to come up with other authors to compare him to, just as a reference point (he clearly is reminiscent of somebody or an amalgam of several writers I've read - but I can't put my finger on whom).

This book is about the world of body building and contains much of the telltale oddity, hostility and ill will that characterized The Gypsy's Curse (the first Crews book I read), but takes everything up several notches. Firstly, the characters and scenes are even more vividly drawn and hopelessly grotesque in every way imaginable. The dialogue is spectacular, particularly the hilarious banter produced by the Turnipseed (sic) family, a clan of rednecks, that is completely over the top, yet rings quite accurately somehow.

A great read, and probably a better starting point for those first delving into the work of Harry Crews than The Gypsy's Curse. But, not by much - which is to say: only two books into this man's repertoire I can't imagine him producing a bad one. We shall see.
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