A Town Called Suckhole
By David W. Barbee
David Barbee serves up a fine slab of Dixie Fried post-apocalyptic buddy comedy with his first full-length novel, A Town Called Suckhole. The first chapter does an incredible job of setting the tone for the novel as well as giving a rich and hilarious history of Barbee’s twisted Southern nuclear survivors.
Our story gets rolling with Suckhole preparing for the annual Hell Yeah Heritage Jamboree; the biggest thing that happens all year in the futuristic Podunk town. Sheriff Billy Jack Bledskoe is investigating a string of brutal of brutal murders but receiving very little help from the extravagant hillbilly mayor, Rusty Boyd Crockwallop, who’s only concern is seeing the Hell Yeah Heritage Jamboree (man, I love saying that) go on without a hitch. With all conventional methods of crime solving exhausted the sheriff drags his deputy/son/translator, Jesco Ray, deep into the toxic swamp to search for answers from a good hearted abomination against god born in the muck and mire known as the outcast Dexter Spikes.
An assassin’s bullet later, Jesco and Dexter are working together on a case no one seems willing to help with. The odd pairing stir up trouble as they follow clues and southern fried instinct that lead them to each of the town’s cliques in turn. They brave the army of heathen street children known as the Hill Bills, they confound Mayor Crockwallop’s militia, and make friends with a high-maintenance neurotic talking whiskey still as they bumble ever closer to those responsible for the mutilated corpses. By the time the two reach the end of their adventure they’ve warped into awkward friends in an endearing way.
Barbee creates a detailed post-apocalyptic South that manages to parody the best (and the worst) the present-South has to offer. No stereotype is left unmolested giving the town and its history a solid yet hilarious feel. I spent so much time giggling I didn’t realize how emotionally invested I was in the characters until the end.
A Town Called Suckhole is a great book for Bizarro newbies as it contains several of the traits which I love about the genre. This book is full of weird characters doing crazy things in an insane world. Also, like a few other great Bizarro books A Town Called Suckhole packs a surprising amount of heart in amongst the strangeness and mystery.
Highly recommended for fans of Bizarro, comedy, and buddy action flicks.
One way trips to Suckhole here.