"Trashland A Go-Go" Book Review

Written by Gabino Iglesias

Published by Eraserhead Press

Written by Constance Ann Fitzgerald
2011, 100 pages, Fiction
Released on October 22nd, 2011


When a book starts with a stripper suffering a fatal pole-related accident at the hands of an envious co-worker and her electrocuted body ends up in a dumpster, there are only two possible outcomes: the story either sinks horribly or soars brilliantly. In the case of Trashland A Go-Go, Constance Ann Fitzgerald's contribution to the 2011 New Bizarro Author Series, the narrative rockets up and away unlike anything else in current literature.

Trashland A Go-Go tells the story of Coco Darling, a woman who takes off her clothes for a living. One day, Chastity, a fellow stripper with an attitude problem, rubs some Vaseline on the pole and sends Coco flying into the DJ booth. Faced with a topless, unresponsive dance, Victor, the club's DJ, and Arnie, the owner, take care of the problem the only way they can think of: by depositing her in a dumpster. Against all odds, Coco awakens. However, instead of waking inside the dumpster, the stripper wakes up in place full of trash as far as the eye can see. Hungry, topless, dirty, angry and lost, Coco begins to wander around in search of a way home. When she crushes a can out of frustration, out comes Rudy, a friendly and talkative fly that's facing the reality of his own approaching death. Together, Coco and Rudy set out in a truly bizarre adventure that will take them through a world made of trash, into a house made of meat where an oracle reads decaying flesh and organs and finally into the palace of the Queen of the trashland, where Coco will have to fight her way through before finding herself in a position that might just be better than going back home.

Coco, Rudy and the rest of the characters in Fitzgerald's story are likeable and unique. Likewise, her storytelling is enjoyable, fast-paced and executed with an economical prose that makes for an entertaining narrative that readers will be tempted to devour in a single sitting. Although the story has more than its share of unhygienic moments, Coco shines through as a tough female lead that never stops being a bit girly even while fighting for her life, cutting a brain-sucking spore from her love interest's neck or putting together an army or flies and rats.

Trashland A Go-Go is fun, fast and engaging. The narrative is a mixture of fairy tale, strange science fiction love story and buddy comedy. If you have never read Bizarro fiction, this book might be a perfect introduction. If you are already a fan of the genre, then consider this one a must-read.



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