What do you say to an intellectually fistular maggot who wants
to observe you watching football? How many doors get slammed
in your face when you try to find out who is in charge of
the universe? And what happens when you switch your android's
personality setting to "humour"?...
is the new novel by Swedish writer/director Mikael Niemi.
Niemi previously published the well-received book Popular
Music which, in turn, became the film Popularmusik
Fran Vittula (2004) - where Niemi pops up as the narrator.
He also co-wrote the very funny miniseries Bondanger
Astrotruckers is a rambling scatological collection
of loosely connected tales were, stylistically, James Joyce
rhythmically cracks heads with Douglas Adams to the tune of
Sousa's Liberty Bell. Everything here is open to question
and interpretation from the banal to the cosmic. Discover
how the big bang started after someone shoved his head where
a head shouldn't go. Ever wondered why space adventurers would
carry a piece of their own faeces into space with them, just
for the occasional sniff?
book has little in the way of a central narrative, short of
the winsome musings of a disaffected astrotrucker. It reads
more like a very long absurdist shaggy dog story, with a short
term memory problem, that keeps getting distracted down invariably
interesting side streets on the Dadaist side of town. The
humour ranges from the internalised little chuckle to the
laugh out loud and its comedic range should have something
for just about everyone.
The various, loosely, connected stories pay comedic homage
to many science fiction standards. So, we have the nature
of God, a tempting look at the far future of the human race
and more than a few pastiches of well known films.
Overall this is a delightfully written trip through the strange
mind of Mikael Niemi. The only thing which let the book down
was the cover. The copy I received was an uncorrected proof
with a nasty illustration which wouldn't have done a forties
pulp magazine justice, lets hope they find something different
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