Fox, Andrew. The good humor man. San Francisco: Tachyon, 2009. 282pp.
Andrew Fox's first two novels, Fat White Vampire Blues and Bride of the Fat White Vampire were entertaining and over-the-top, a couple of innovative entries into the vampire cannon. Cinematic and funny, touching and absurd, they were terrific reads if not quite great literature.
Now comes The Good Humor Man. It's a lot of the same things as the earlier books: obsessed with pop culture, very cinematic, funny and absurd although not quite as touching and romantic. On the other hand, it's also a lot more thought-provoking with a satirical edge that's a lot more upfront than the earlier work.
What's it about? Think of it as Fahrenheit 451 for the diet industry. Imagine a future USA where high calorie foods are illegal, and a gang of government-sponsored thugs will raid any high-cal party they find. Imagine if one of the founders of the movement suddenly thinks it's all going too far and that people should really be free to make their own choices in life.
Furthermore, it's also not hard to imagine that Big Food has come up with a few secrets of it's own. Our newly converted hero then needs to save the day.
What results is an amazing road trip into the heart of American food culture – Fat Elvis. Yes, Fat Elvis is the driving force (but not character, remember, it's the future) and inspiration for the book. More than that, I cannot reveal. Anyways, it's all kinda indescribable anyways. Liposuction, for example, is also a strangely important driving force in the novel.
Read it. It's fun and thoughtful and way OTT. In fact, every time you think Fox can't possibly go more OTT, he pulls another fried peanut butter and banana sandwich out of his hat.