Die You Doughnut Bastards! by Cameron Pierce
The first Bizarro book I read was Cameron Pierce’s ‘Lost in Cat Brain Land’. It was November 2010, and I was captivated by this collection of short, surreal stories. Two years later, I have read his latest collection that displays Cameron’s transformation into a wizard of the short story form. It’s a larger collection, yet the stories range from single page poetry and prose poems to stories spanning about 20-30 pages. I found that I read this collection in bits and pieces, picking it up every so often and choosing what I felt like reading next. This is in contrast to the single sitting in which I read Cat Brain Land. Doughnut Bastards shifts focus away from the surreal plots and settings of his first collection, and more towards the absurd. Some stories center around the most mundane things, yet Cameron’s writing renders them spectacular, often bringing about a quirkiness of thought or dark humour to his storytelling. At times it feels like his writing has taken on a dash of Sam Pink. It’s less straight up Eraserhead Press Bizarro, and more Lazy Fascist Bizarro. It’s creative, comical, and spectacularly written. There are little illustrations throughout the book, captioned with lines taken from some of the stories. These illustrations reminded me of the artist/poet, Brian Andreas, with the juxtaposition of strange/simple drawings with absurd thoughts. The illustrations in this collection serve to highlight the beauty of Cameron’s writing at times, my favourite being: “Champions always die with a smile on.”
‘Die You Doughnut Bastards!’ is a fantastic collection for everyone who loves their short stories to be creative and clever.