When they weren't out subjugating barbarians, the Romans festooned their walls with phalluses. The Vikings only started invading other countries because they'd run out of space in their own toilet cubicles. And one-third of all Neanderthal cave paintings can be translated loosely as 'I've had Ug's mum'.
The park near our house is huge. Ovals, playgrounds, tennis courts and a big creek runs through the park; it's more of a suburb than a park. The park has many places to setup a party, many, many idyllic settings. My Dad had an abundance of places to setup the party table. He set the party table next to a stolen car.
Saunders is a great one for internal reverie. We see directly into his characters' minds - their secret dreams and fantasies - before he reveals these reveries for what they are: delusions. If I have any criticism it is this: he has a habit of revisiting characters, themes and ideas, which in a collection of just ten stories, feels like a bit of a cheat. Nevertheless, this is an absorbing read.
This smorgasbord of stories explores love's dark underbelly. The author kickstarts the collection with a riotous story about a tiger in a zoo which falls in love with its keeper. In a frenzy of passion, it commits an act that sets off a series of events in which, after escaping from captivity, it kills a baby and a woman in the most guileless, unintentional manner.
The Next Thing: McClanahan's first novel will be put out next year by Tyrant Books. He is also writing The Sarah Book in 2012, a chapter of which is included here. Which is all looking pretty good for McClanahan disciples, particularly as he's planning some readings in Europe for next year. Look out for him.