I’ve kind of asleep at the helm here of late on the Catapult, but I have been reading, honest. Off & on I’ve been trying to write something about Swell by Corwin Ericson for
weeks months now & just can’t find a way to do it the solid justice it deserves. I think it’s fairly obvious (for readers of this blog, at least) why I picked it up in the first place. (Whale on the cover! Sold!) It also has a nice blurb from Catapult-friend, Jonathan Evison – “Melville meets Tom Robbins, except not annoying” – which didn’t hurt. And it’s published by an independent publishing house, Dark Coast Press, which I have a particular affinity for. And I eventually bought it from an independent store not my own, because they too have love for Dark Coast. So there. It’s one of those weird, quirky novels that I never know quite how to describe to people. (I’ve seen other reviews mention everything from Neil Gaiman to Thomas Pynchon to Douglas Adams.) Orange Whippey is a degenerate loser from the tiny island of Bismuth in the North Atlantic who somehow, despite his best intentions of remaining a loser, inexplicably winds up heading a plot involving whale herders, Korean drug smugglers, an aquatic cell phone network, Norse mythology, and the subtle intricacies of Jaws, the novel. So, hey, if that turns you off, forget it – I’m not sure what I could possibly tell you that would sway you over here. But if you kinda dig it, well then, my friend, this Swell’s for you. Myself, I loved every single hilarious word of it.