Those estranged Caruthers boys sure have some problems. J. Claude Caruthers suffers from insomnia, brought about by the inability to finish his project of writing a country song for every woman's name on Earth, while his brother Lloyd inadvertently created a black hole that is threatening to destroy the world. Can J. Claude finish his project before the world ends? And what do his arch-nemeses Kenny Rogers and Denny Dynasty have to do with it?
Who would have thought a black hole and country music would go together like a beer buzz and a fried baloney sandwich? Apparently, Patrick Wensink did. The story of the Caruthers boys and their respective problems is hilarious, from J. Claude's sandwich addiction to his sheer hatred for all things Kenny Rogers. Each chapter begins with a bit of wisdom from J. Claude's biography, Nashville's Shakespeare. Some of the quotes are stolen from other country singers and others are bits of J. Claude's wisdom. All are hilarious. J. Claude preaches such advice as "Why try when you can quit?" to "If you put your mind to stuff, you can probably do it."
For a plot involving astrophysics and country music, it's fairly easy to follow. The revelation of what happened to the elder three Caruthers was well done and the story kept me engaged right up until the end. The vagueness of the ending irked me a little but such is life.
While it's definitely a bizarro book, Black Hole Blues is definitely one of the more accessible ones, right up there with Rico Slade will Fucking Kill You, Starfish Girl, and Muscle Memory. Fans of bizarro, Christopher Moore, country music, and physicists should enjoy it.
What the hell does rhyme with Zygmut?
For more evidence of the pure evil of Kenny Rogers, visit Death to Kenny Rogers.
You can read the interview with Patrick Wensink that I did here