Akhmed and the Atomic Matzo Balls is a delightfully funny novel that, though written some time ago, perfectly captures the craziness of 2019 in America.
For the sheer pleasure of it, I was reading a couple of travel short stories by my friend, author Gary Buslik. He really is an extraordinary writer. His short stories are complex without being confusing; his images are incredibly rich; and the emotion pulsing through the stories comes through clear and strong without ever overwhelming the narrative.
Gary is also very funny, as you can tell just from the title of his travel book, A Rotten Person Travels the Caribbean: A Grump in Paradise Discovers that Anyplace it’s Legal to Carry a Machete is Comedy Just Waiting to Happen. If you’re not up for a full-length travel book, but prefer anthologies, Gary’s essays are included in The Best Travel Writing 2011: True Stories from Around the World and the less elegantly titled Wake Up and Smell the Shit: Hilarious Travel Disasters, Monstrous Toilets, and a Demon Dildo.
What I really want to write about here, though, is Gary’s novel Akhmed and the Atomic Matzo Balls: A Novel of International Intrigue, Pork-Crazed Termites, and Motherhood, which is now selling for a nicely discounted $6.95. I think it deserves a re-read because, though written some time ago, it perfectly characterizes the florid craziness that is America — and, indeed, the entire Western hemisphere — at the dawn of 2019. When I first read the book several years ago, I was constantly laughing. Here’s the review I wrote at the time: [Read more…]