David Barbee first came to my attention when he wrote Carnageland for the New Bizarro Author Series. I didn’t get a chance to read that one but I remembered the name when he put out his next book, A Town Called Suckhole. I’ve always been a sucker for post-apocalyptic fiction so I eye-balled this one for awhile. It wasn’t until he ran a special for a signed copy of his book that I finally bought it. I’ll just go ahead and mention that when I got the book in the mail Barbee threw in a bunch of extra goodies like comic books and trading cards, he’s just a swell guy.
The meat of the book takes place after the War of Northern Aggression was ended with the dropping of nuclear bombs. The world had been destroyed but the south was able to rise up with the help of such great rednecks as George W Foxworthy, Jeezus, and the beloved St. Hank. They helped in the creation of the town of Suckhole. Fast forward some odd years and it’s time for the Hell-Yeah Heritage Jamboree. Someone has been brutally killing the town’s folk. It’s up to the sheriff, his son, and a monster that doesn’t exist named Dexter Spikes to figure it before the start of the Jamboree. Things end up getting pretty crazy and violent.
There’s so much about this book to like. Suckhole is filled to the brim with a crazy cast of characters. From Sheriff Billy Jack Bledskoe with his horrible cleft lip to Skynyrd Lee Faulkridge and the rest of the steroid pumped Militia. Chances are you’ve never read about characters like this before, and Barbee has the chops to write them real and unforgettable. Some of my favorites would be the sentient robotic moonshine stills, with their need to one up each other.
There are lots of references to the south and country music in this book. Barbee plays in almost every redneck stereotype you could think of, but it’s funny too. Barbee’s writing is extremely entertaining. He mixes in equal doses of action, humor, and weirdness. If you like your bizarro well written with a strong plot and slightly grotesque to boot, then this book is for you.
Buy it here A Town Called Suckhole