The vast swell that is the
invites exploration. It was built on exploration and exploitation
so it’s damn near incredible that now, in 2015, there are still writers that
can take you on uncharted adventures across the land of the free. Americas
Catfish McDaris is more than “one of the greatest weirdo writers” plying his trade today. When you say his name you invoke the spirits of
’s finest literary talents. John Fante, William S. Burroughs, Jack
Kerouac, Charles Bukowski. These are men
of such limitless ability than their names transcend categorization to become
their own genres. McDaris is one of
the last writers on the planet able to call men like this peers. America
Naked Serial Killers in Volkswagens is his latest offering. A surreal, self-aware, trans-formative look at the American Dream, consumerism, gender, sexuality, mental health and our place in a land that prioritizes one over the other. His central character Bagre, a third-person semi-biographical misfit, takes to the road with Mercedes, a sexually charged associate of an associate, tasked with typing up Bag’s manuscript as he becomes the modern-day world’s answer to John Wayne in a world that no longer needs, nor wants a John Wayne.
McDaris’ writing brings together two worlds that I love. In parts he’s equal to John Fante, conjuring up comparisons to Wait Until Spring, Bandini, West of Rome and Brotherhood of the Grape. At others, Naked Serial Killers drops into the world of metaphor, surrealism and parable. McDaris’ writing could easily take over where religion falters such is his skill. Burroughs’ translucent The Soft Machine springs to mind as the author paints the most beautifully, fluid portrait of a modern man with a language so rich you’ll put on fifty pounds just by reading the god-damn thing. That is not to say Catfish is anything less than his own man. Try as you may, you will never be able to replicate the linguistic dance that pours from his brain, through his typer and on to the page. There’s a solid gold gift at work here.
If you’re wondering whether there’s “something lurking deeper behind your words than fornication, defecation, and masturbation” you need not worry. McDaris’ art is one that takes the day-to-day mundanity of life, of human interaction and bodily function and raises it aloft; elevating it to a status alongside the angels.
Naked Serial Killers in Volkswagens poses more questions than the State Prosecutor having found you in his child’s closet at dressed as a purple dinosaur with chocolate smeared across your dongle. It’s a fierce, compelling, intelligent read that at 52 pages is ohhh soooo painfully short. Read and re-read but do it slowly, you have the inner workings of brilliance at your fingertips. A deliriously dreamy book with a set of ten ton balls on it.
Naked Serial Killers in Volkwagens is available to buy [here].