A Special Joyless House Reviews Event!!

Because I'm a tad late to the party. Because it would be uncomfortable, pointless, redundant, or just not expedient for me to honestly review these three books which were pretty much universally lauded by the same general audience I might wish to coerce into my own smelly little literary corner . . . 

because I feel compelled to comment on everything I read that has the least bit of relevance. Because I pay a hundred bucks a year, or whatever it is, for this web site . . .


Here, instead of reviews, is an elaborate cop-out.

The Main Event!

"Welcome back folks, to the beautiful Palace of Auburn Hills. I'm your host, Joyless Gene and with me as always is The King of Krunk, Jerry Lawless. We have got a doozy of a main event for you tonight!"

"Yeah, buddy! Whooooooo!" {Lawless making various Krunk-ass noises}

"We've got a very special treat for you tonight, ladies and gentlemen. It's a literary battle royal between three of the hottest stars in 'Alternative Literature' today."


"You know how the King loves him some lit'riture, Gene. Whooooo!" 

"As does everyone. Don't look now, but here comes our first competitor . . .

{Voice in the P.A. : "And now entering the squared circle . . . from the only American city that matters one pinch of shit . . . she's too hot for MTV but too crazy for me . . . the poet laureate of puking in your purse . . . the queen of the cum-stained stanza . . . Darcie Wilder!!Wilder enters to some emo song only someone who graduated high school in 2008 would recognize}


"Whoo boy, Gene, Darcie Wilder looks ready to rumble! She looks . . . well, she looks a little fucked up honestly. Is she fucked up under that hood, Gene?"

"Chemical recreation is very popular with the young people these days, King. Indeed. Watch out for Wilder's  cutting sarcasm, especially, and don't be fooled by the plaintive vulnerability in her gaze. That's when she likes to drop the hammer . . . Now here comes our next fighter . . ."

{Rock music plays through P.A.}


"Wait . . . is this Rush?"


"Sure is King and if you weren't dumber than David Alan Coe you'd get the reference."


{P.A. voice: "Here he is, folks . . . hailing from some no-name, nondescript working-class shit hole on the east coast . . . The Dickens of Drudgery . . . the Prince of the Prosaic . . . the Welder of Words and common or exotic metals . . . Bud "Working Man" Smith!"}

{Cheers. Bud Lights raised. American flags waved}


"I kinda thought he'd come out to Springsteen."

"It's a tough call, King. You can only walk out to one fucking song. I myself would have chosen Steely Dan's 'Dirty Work'. 


{Smith greets Wilder cordially. He is spat on and encouraged to "fuck off"}

{Voice in P.A. : "And finally, ladies and gentlemen, here comes our reigning champion . . . The Mouth of the Not-So Deep South . . . Appalachia's answer to Henry Miller - but only when he wrote for those porn mags . . . the trailer park literatus . . . a man whose name you'll never be able to hear without thinking of his porn browsing history   . . . Scott McClanahan!!"}

{McClanahan is walked out to the ring by Clint Howard lip-synching to Jefferson Starship's 'Sarah'}

"Gene, did you know that 65% of West Virginians rate Clint Howard as 'somewhat' to 'decidedly' attractive?"

"That's an amazing factoid, Jerry"

"Uh huh. And they got this breakfast sandwich down there called the Handsome Clint; it's got hash browns and sausage gravy and candy red hots . . ."

"You know, King, they've got this festering shit hole in Tennessee where all the stupid people come from and its called Memphis."

"Whoah, whoah! Hittin' too close to home, Gene! Ouch!"


"There's the bell and this 3-way is finally underway! Our wrestlers are . . . well, they're not doing much of anything just yet . . . kind of avoiding eye contact with one another. Darcie Wilder is on her phone . . . live tweeting, perhaps. Now McClanahan is on his phone . . ."

"He's looking at porn Gene! He's looking at porn! I'd recognize that nervous slouch anywhere . . ."

"Looks like only Bud Smith has answered the bell here, as he seems to be deliberately sizing up his first move."

"Oh yeah, Bud's a working man alright. When that bell rings it's time to punch in and get down to it!"

"And Smith takes down Wilder! He has her in some inverted hybrid of the figure-4 and the full nelson, I believe."

"He's a technician, Gene! Yeah Buddy! This is hot!!"

"Now McClanahan has put down his phone and appears to be ready to enter the fray. He's circling Smith and Wilder . . . now he's . . . he's reaching into his pants . . . oh God, is he? . . ."

"He's masturbatin', Gene. He's masturbatin'! He's giving the People's Pecker the Atomic Tug! I knew all along this guy was a degenerate!"

"Now Smith has abandoned his hold on Wilder and he's going after McClanahan! He appears to be perfectly livid with basic decency and chivalrous intentions!! . . . and McClanahan is down on his knees . . . he's pleading with the enraged ex-football player. Smith's lifetime of physical labor have made his muscles swollen and dangerous. It seems he's about to settle McClanahan's hash!"


"Here comes Wilder, Gene! Lookout!"


"Darcie Wilder has cold-cocked the Working Man in the back of the head! Now McClanahan is up! He and Wilder team up to toss a stunned Bud Smith out of the ring!"

"Smith's been bamboozled Gene! So much for Living in the Limelight!"

"Indeed he has, King. Maybe this devastating loss will inspire him to write even Closer to the Heart in his next book. If that's possible . . .  Now Wilder is calling for something from ringside . . . it looks like she's ordering shots!"

"Jager bombs! Wilder and McClanahan are doing jager bombs, Gene!"

"Wilder and McClanahan are hi-fiving in the middle of the ring! But they better not get too friendly, King. Only one degenerate writer can be left standing at the end of this literary rumble! . . . hold on, McClanahan is being approached by someone from the audience. It looks like a reporter from a reputable national magazine! It seems he wants an interview!"

"Wider does not look happy, Gene!"

"And now there's a whole crowd of potential interviewers clamoring for McClanahan's attention! It looks like every major publication with a half-ass hipster leaning and every shitty online culture rag with designs on respectability want a piece of Scott! . . . it seems that he's determined to give them each an honest interview."

"Gotta love it Gene! McClanahan is real down to earth for being such a degenerate headcase."

"But what is Wilder up to King?"

"Holy she-it! She's drained that whole bottle of Jagermeister!"


"Indeed she has! And now she's brandishing it like a weapon! It appears she's not going to take this snub lying down!"


"Standing up in the stairwell of some Brooklyn dive bar is more likely!"

"I'd like to take a moment to assure our viewing audience that Jerry Lawless is going to rot for eternity in a special southern hell for dirtbags."

"Ha! You won't be so snide when I'm sipping bourbon neat with Bill Faulkner and Bob E. Lee!"

"Thanks, I'll Pass. And here comes Wilder! She comes up behind McClanahan and . . . smashes him on the back of the head! He's down in a heap! He's out cold! Wilder rolls McClanahan's limp body out of the ring and we have a new literary wrastling champion!"

"Dumped unceremoniously by a woman! I never saw this coming, Gene!"

"Thousands of teenage girls have actually looked up from their phones and are cheering Wilder. Why I haven't seen this demographic so engaged since that Slender Man thing a few years back. Meanwhile, Wilder is flipping off the crowd and inviting them all to 'get the fuck outta here'."

{a Good Charolette song blares over the P.A. Or is it a My Chemical Romance song? It might be Dashboard Confessional . . . It doesn't fucking matter.}

"Wow, what a match that was and not at all a waste of time. Thank you all for watching, this is Joyless Gene for The King Jerry Lawless saying goodnight from the Palace of Auburn Hills."

"That was a pretty short match for all the buildup we gave it, Gene."

"What do you expect, King? It was a pretty fucking thin premise . . ."

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