Oct 09, 08
Read in June, 2003
Stranger on the Loose is an instant cult classic and an excellent follow-up to Wilson's first collection The Kafka Effekt, taking many of the same themes and pushing them further. With more longer stories, Stranger on the Loose satisfies that craving for a sustainable madness in us all.
For those not familiar with Wilson's darkly wry and totally absurd world view Stranger is more than an introduction, it's an immersion. Take for example "The Ostensibly Immortal Piece of Bread" which recounts the plight of a man who finds that he has purchased a piece of bread that never molds. Naturally he must exact revenge upon the baker who sold him this abomination and that entails, among other things, dressing up as a bag lady. Once again Wilson has thrust his characters in hopelessly futile and meaningless situations fraught with plenty of dangers to their ego that make you want to grind your teeth and giggle at the same time.
No one captures the absurdity of modern life like Wilson and no one makes up better phony sounding names. Some of my favorites were Pickering Dymentcha, Rakehell Bartleberry and Derillict Hagadorn. Crafting nonsensical stories that really make you think and feel has got to be difficult but Wilson pulls it off with flair down to the smallest details.