For if playing by the rules guarantees that you lose, why bother playing?

Hammond Wry is the screen name of one Damen Ginzberg who lives in his parents’ basement in their middle class home in Hammond, Indiana.

He understands the town’s bleak economic outlook, from its dearth of established high-paying jobs to the scarcity of interesting entry-level opportunities. Moreover, he recognizes, in part by overhearing his parent’s desperate, late night conversations, that those already established in the job market are in for a hard time, as well. Mr. and Mrs. Ginzberg live within their means, stay at their reasonably well-paying, if ultimately boring and unsatisfying jobs, and maintain the promise that their children—Damen has an older sister named Kenzie—may attend good state universities after high school without having to worry about the cost. But with Kenzie down at Bloomington-Normal, food and fuel costs ballooning, and the business-friendly state legislature always threatening to cut Mr. Ginzberg’s pension, Damen has been questioning the wisdom of playing by the rules.  For if playing by the rules guarantees that you lose, why bother playing? If you must play, why play on their terms?

So that summer, before he is to join Kenzie at IU, he tells his parents that he is taking a paid internship with a famous cheese maker in Los Angeles, and hops a freight train. He supports himself through the summer by working part-time jobs at Whole Foods and as a cabin boy at a ritzy day spa. In his off hours he works toward his ultimate goal of making very pure LSD, which he plans to aggressively market and restore to its proper place among frequently used psychedelics. To be honest, making cheese is not even a vague consideration for him, and he had told his parents that line only because his mom loves cheese and he had read about a contest for said internship in the back of a Wine Spectator magazine in which he was trying to learn more about tannic acid, which he sadly later finds out has absolutely no suitable application for making LSD. But when the assistant cheese buyer at the Whole Foods chides him for making such a burnout drug and informs him instead that cheese is where the real action is, it does not take him too long to realize that not only is cheese-making considerably easier than drug manufacturing, but that it also has the advantage of being legal. It doesn’t quite sit well with young Mr. Ginzberg, who doesn’t want to play by society’s rules, no matter how convenient they might be, and it takes him only a short time longer (a matter of seconds, actually) to realize that his other job allows him enviable access to celebrity bacteria, bacteria that can be used in a line of paparazzi cheeses. As far as he knows, celebrities have yet to trademark, copyright, or patent their excretions, parasites, and byproducts, but stealing their most private privates would give his venture the kind of edginess that generates excitement.

So he goes to work and at the end of the summer posts his inaugural cheese online at celebritycheesehunters.com under the name Lagoon with a View Bleu, and watches with amazement as the auction prices skyrocket.

———

 REVIEWS

“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.

2 thoughts on “For if playing by the rules guarantees that you lose, why bother playing?

  1. Wow this sounds so intriguing but very bizarre at the same time! I think I’d definitely need to focus to read through this and follow what is happening!

    Like

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I’ve only read a couple of reviews where they just couldn’t follow it. Everyone else seems to have found it wild but lucid. You can read a lot more excerpts on my page to see if you want to read the whole book.

      Like

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