REYoung ✺ Fiction

In the tour de force called America, one of the tired, the poor, the huddled masses struggles upward to the penthouse of God, discovering too late he’s taken the elevator marked down. Resurrected from the rubble of dreams as a messiah and accidental revolutionary, his cry for freedom echoes like a broken record as they lower him into the ground. Like a hopelessly lost coal miner, he digs on, deflating the gloom with slapstick, pensive as a clown, gathering strength for the next round.

The edgy B-grade movie maestro Boone Weller takes us south of the border and down ol’ Mexico way with los guys, a comedy troupe of ancient Mayans in modern guise, and the existentially challenged Snowman, whose job, in a Bradburyian twist, is not to keep the mean streets of America safe and free of ice and snow, but to bury the nation in the frozen white stuff year-round, compounding the absurdity of an obligatory, 365 days a year Christmas celebration, told in shoot from the hip Texas style, loose and rangy and battered with an attitude, and bound to offend everybody.

Martin “Marty” Grasso (think Mardi Gras) wakes to find the world turned into a Dantesque “carnival of bloat.” Excess consumption is patriotic, high fat and cholesterol diets are good, exercise is frowned upon, the price of fuel ticks upward by the second, and giant virtual billboards, or VRBLs, bombard citizens with advertisements for consumer products. As a mysterious vortex sucks up rapidly dwindling energy reserves and civilization faces famine, chaos and collapse, the impending catastrophe is blamed on a subversive element known as the sappers. Marty’s quest for the truth intersects virtual worlds, utopian societies and ever-morphing nightmares—in a wild vaudeville cyber-punk noir romp that crosses into the twilight zone of “sic”-fi where nothing is ever what it seems.

 

Born out of myth and fairytale, in particular the tradition of the wise old wizard mentoring a bumbling apprentice, and told in language echoing Homer, Beowulf, biblical scripture and John Coltrane, among others, The Ironsmith evolves into a surreal Bildungsroman of a self-perceived “monster,” a painfully introverted young man whose obsession with the ancient sport of weightlifting causes him to withdraw into an increasingly delusional world that anachronistically intersects classical Greece, the Middle Ages, the Industrial Age, WWI and II, the tumultuous sixties, and the age of the Internet. 

The eponymous Snowman wakes up on a desert movie set in B movie director Boone Weller’s sprawling new epic, Zol. Told in a mix of melodrama, slapstick, documentary and cinema verité, and packed with drug cartels, coyotes, revolutionaries, fire-breathing dragons, human sacrifice and magic, this blockbuster unfolds in a Dalían landscape along a chimerical Pan-American highway deep in the heart of Mexico as the Snowman continues his quest for a mythical place called Zol and an enigmatic friend named Margarito.

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