A review of
Before Elvis There Was Nothing
by Laurie Foos
Oy, is this a weird book! Here are a few of the key elements: Elvis, runaway parents, agoraphobia, toe fungus, Bagel King, hair replacement therapy, a randy podiatrist, a big-hearted mailman, a crazy doctor, Cousin It, and a woman named Cass (after Mama Cass) who grows a six inch horn in the middle of her forehead. And did I mention she wants to be Jewish? Cass, lest she choke to death like her namesake! What kind of mishigass is this?
Turns out, the author, Laurie Foos, has a theory or two about how to write a novel. One theory goes like this: Make something weird enough and folks will look right past all of the weirdness to find the heart of the story. The second theory? Make something weird enough, and folks will stick with you to see how you’re going to pull the damn thing off. And pull it off, she does. I think. I’m still a little bit woozy from this tale’s wild and often very funny ride.
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