Review: eyeballs growing all over me . . . again by Tony Rauch

(Review for Bizarro Brigade.)

One of the great things about bizarro fiction is the diversity it allows; “weird” is open to all sorts of interpretation, and much of the fun of reading bizarro lit is seeing different authors’ takes on the concept. With his collection EYEBALLS GROWING ALL OVER ME . . . AGAIN Tony Rauch presents twenty-three stories that view the strange through a bittersweet, whimsical, and practically life-affirming lens.

In this series of vignettes (some as brief as a couple of pages) Rauch examines themes of second chances (in “send krupac through the portal” scientists bend the space-time continuum to take the romantic lament maybe in another time to its most illogical extreme), using time travel to correct mistakes in one’s past (“redball jet (drop me off on planet earth)”), and the search for love (“gilbert, the sexy robot,” which deals with a lovelorn scientist’s articifial means to meet women).

While several of the stories stop before really taking flight (often protagonists will declare their intentions and then proceed to the ending, leaving the reader to assume they’re successful), Rauch posits many intriguing concepts, sprinkled with a healthy dose of absurdist humor. Here you’ll find giant chickens, goat-headed sisters, and a unique game of tabletop football.

Readers looking for something positive and upbeat without sacrificing the weird will want to give this a look.

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