Review: Baby’s First Book of Seriously Fucked-Up Shit by Robert Devereaux

(Review for Bizarro Brigade.)

I’ll be honest: with a title like that, I’d have probably bought this book regardless of author or plot summary. Fortunately, this collection comes from the wickedly brilliant mind of Robert Devereaux, whose penchant for literate, taboo-shattering fiction is well-represented in these nine tales.

Whether it’s the Biblical fable “Fructus in Eden,” the B-movie parody “The Slobbering Tongue That Ate the Frightfully Huge Woman,” or the pornographic tall tale “Showdown in Stinking Springs,” Devereaux plunges head-first into scenes of shocking violence and even more shocking sex to explore the often unpleasant truths of the human condition (one story, “Li’l Miss Ultrasound,” contains a fetish that went beyond the pale for even this hardened horror connoisseur; consider that a warning or a recommendation, whichever’s appropriate). Devereaux’s lush, distinctive voice elevates the material above a mere gross-out–there’s a genuine spiritual quest here.

Including such classics as the dementedly funny “Bucky Goes to Church” and “Ridi Bobo” (a noir-flavored tale of clown adultery), BABY’S FIRST BOOK OF SERIOUSLY FUCKED-UP SHIT not only lives up to its title, but offers up a succulent transgressive feast.

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