Earlier this year I received a galley of Bradley Denton’s latest novel, Laughin’ Boy. It’s a dark, dark, bitingly funny novel that at least one of my reviewers found too bleak to finish. To me it a was breath of fresh air, a delight from start to finish, and a joy to see in print after so many years without a new Denton novel. Looking back at the year so far, if Geoff Ryman’s Air was my favorite novel of 2004, then Laughin’ Boy is my favorite of 2005 so far. It’s a flat-out essential read.
With that in mind, I’d like to point your attention to Dorman Shindler’s subtly titled interview with Denton, Bradley Denton opens his big fat mouth about media excess, political correctness and the craft of writing over at scifi.com, which addresses everything you might want to know, except when we can see the next book. If that piques your interest, you might also want to read John Clute’s review of the novel (also at scifi.com), where he describes it as ‘one of the funniest novels of the past decade’.
There is one thing you should know, though, if you’d like to read the adventures of Porno Girl, the Racist Ranger, and Laughin’ Boy. The estimable Subterranean Press, who are to be applauded for publishing the novel, only produced 750 copies. According to their website, the book was already out of print before publication. Check with the publisher first to see if you can get a copy, then get on to your favorite reseller. You need this one. Oh, and any publisher outside the US: if you’re reading this note, you should seriously consider picking up the o/s rights for this novel. It’s the antidote for Bush’s America that I believe the rest of the world is ready to take.