April 9th, 2009 § Leave a Comment
I recently appeared with James Kennedy in New York at the JET Alumni Author Showcase.
In anticipation of the event I read his debut novel, The Order of Odd-Fish. It’s a wonderfully delirious book, ranging all over the map (one that charts decidedly unhinged territory indeed).
The story concerns a young girl named Jo Larouche, mysteriously found inside a washing machine with a note proclaiming her “a very dangerous baby.” Jo’s destiny lies in the enigmatic city of Eldritch, where the Knights of Odd-Fish conduct absurd research and protect the ramparts from the Silent Sisters, a cultish cabal who worship The All-Devouring Mother, a god to which Jo is deeply and unknowingly linked.
It sounds dour to merely recount the premise, but the trick’s that Kennedy plays whole thing for surreal, over-the-top laughs — and he gets them in spades, at least from me.
When I first met James, I described Odd-Fish as “H.P. Lovecraft meets Monthy Python at a Willy Wonka convention.” He thought this was an apt description, and later mentioned that he wrote the book in bits and pieces over several years. The result is a wide-ranging and unpredictable story, but one that comes together in the end.
Recommended (notably to those coveting comely cults, comedy and cockeyed craziness).