I knock on room 42, as we had been instructed, and the door swings open on its own. My eyes dilate to the dark room, and though Willy LaForge is not here now, there is evidence that he has been recently. The muted television is turned to local news, and I remember he always liked to play a game of watching local newscasters with the sound down and composing news stories based only on the images on the screen and the newscasters’ facial expressions. He would write down his impressions and then compare them to the stories in the paper the next morning. On the bed there is still an indentation the size and shape of a body, and a pad and pencil halfway hidden under a sheet. I pick it up and read:
There was a school bus accident this morning near the local elementary school, and I have to poop. I haven’t pooped in days. Black men were on the corner.
There was a shooting in a middle school. The lockers are really important. The lockers are stained with blood. They can’t find anyone to clean the lockers. The janitor was among the casualties.
Here I am.
The entire marching band was on acid.
“He was here,” I say. “But why would he leave without making our meeting?”
Colletta directs me to the television. “Isn’t that him?”
“Part action, part thriller, all comedy, The Librarian at the End of the World fires on all cylinders. Fans of Thomas Pynchon and David Foster Wallace will revel in the ridiculousness that is Miller’s America.”
“A constantly surprising picaresque journey through cultural darkness”
“A most unique rollicking story that careens from the almost familiar instantly into a world of what is happening here?
“Not so much a novel as a perpetual- motion machine: part road-show, part parable, careening between surrealism and comedy”
“Laugh out loud rambling tale of the future/present”
“Prepare to be blown away”
“On the cutting edge of audacious literature”
“Takes madcap to a new level, blending Preston Sturges and Philip Dick”
“Outrageous and thought-provoking”
“Just blown away.”
“Fantastic and bizarre”
“Lovecraft turns Beatnik and drops acid”
“One of the absolutely most freakishly odd books I have ever read”
“It’s like E. L. James, Larry Flynt, and Hunter Thompson somehow merged their DNA”
“Even Carrie Fisher (yes, her vagina is in here) isn’t safe from this menace!”
“If you are looking for a completely unique book, this one is hot!”
“Funny and intelligent”
“Filled with hedonism, erotica and hilarity.”
“Only for strong and fearless readers.”
“Wild, trippy, fun, and sometimes profound”
“I found myself engaged, disconnected and overwhelmed all at the same time”
“No one would ever expect this”
“Imagine a world where Thin Man was co-written by Tim Leary and Douglas Adams and set in the Office staffed by assassins”
“Brilliant, raunchy, hilarious, heartfelt, and by the end, breathtaking”
“Social satire at its best”
“In the end, this romp becomes something else. It becomes a work of art, moving and funny and memorable.”
Editor’s note: Technically it is her vulva, not her vagina.