Review: Ass Goblins of Auschwitz by Cameron Pierce

(Review for Bizarro Brigade.)

Conjoined twins 999 and 1001 are laborers in the prison camp of Auschwitz, building bicycles from the corpses of kidnapped children under the tyrannical rule of the Ass Goblins–farting, butt-shaped aliens with a penchant for cider made from fermented kiddies. With their captors frequently drunk of child-cider, 999 and 1001 plot their escape, only to find much weirder obsctacles in their path.

Perhaps the most astonishing thing about ASS GOBLINS FROM AUSCHWITZ is that it manages to be shocking and audacious without going too far–think of the notorious Nazisploitation films like ILSA, SHE-WOLF OF THE SS tempered with absurdist, cartoonish humor (a device that somehow both magnifies the horrific elements and makes them palatable). Pierce adds a number of clever details–black, swastika-shaped snowflakes that fall on the camp, toilet toads, and the mutation after-effects on some of the Goblins’ medical experiments–but he also weaves a whimsical, almost Lewis Carroll-esque side trip into the proceedings as if to acknowledge, and alleviate, some of the book’s grimmer elements.

While it’s definitely not for all tastes, ASS GOBLINS OF AUCHWITZ has become a classic in the bizarro genre, and for good reason–it’s a fast-paced, wickedly original story that delivers the same guilty pleasures of a grindhouse-era cult film. If there was a college course on modern-day bizarro fiction, this book belongs on the syllabus.

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