Title: Suburbia Confidential
Author: Emil Moreau (alias of Ed Wood, Jr.)
Cover artist: that is not art
Yours for: $55
OMG, OMG, OMG - this book is not even in my official collection. Until a few hours ago, it was in a heap of books I got at the University book sale last fall, where something like $5 bought you an entire grocery bag full of books. I have blogged about the books I bought there before - books that slayed me for one reason or another, phenomenally ugly books, books with hilarious covers, etc. I never got around to blogging the last batch of books from that sale - I was saving this particular book for last for ... well, for many reasons. It is Great in many, many ways, but I had no, no, no idea, until an inexplicable whim led me to look it up online just today, that it was written by Ed Wood, Jr. Ed @#$#$#ing Wood. I do not own an Ed Wood book - or, I guess I should say, I didn't, or didn't know I did, until just now.
Wood's writing career is nearly as legendary as his film career, and his books are Incredibly hard to come by (check out his bibliography). You may know (of) Ed Wood from his legendarily bad movie Plan 9 from Outer Space, or from the Tim Burton movie Ed Wood, starring Johnny Depp as Wood, and featuring Martin Landau, who won a Best Supporting Actor Award for his portrayal of Bela Lugosi. Great film. But back to my book. Woo hoo! This, this is why I collect this crap. For these spectacular "I got a what?!" moments. It's like striking oil or winning the lottery, only way less lucrative, but still immensely satisfying. I have a few more books (forthcoming in the blog, for sure) that I stumbled into for cheap, without knowing what I had on my hands. Dumb, great luck.
OK, now the book itself.
Best things about this cover:
- Oh it's ugly. That color scheme. That chicken-scratched, mirthless sex scene, the inexplicable "U" ... All wonderfully nauseating.
- You should know that this book is not what it appears to be. It's ... well, you have to read the back cover to even begin to get an inkling of how #@$@ing weird it is.
Best things about this back cover:
- I challenge you, right now, to find any book in the history of publishing that has ever promised you that it would make you "VOMIT." I believe this book to be unique in publishing history, in that respect if not others. Who ... what ... in what universe is inducing vomiting a selling point!? The vomit part made me and the friend I was with laugh so hard we cried. Literally, cried.
- I love how the most boring phrase on the back is in huge purple letters, while the truly choice cover copy is buried in a nondescript font at the bottom.
- There is a purple line across this back cover. Nobody knows why.
But just when you thought the book couldn't get better ... guess again. What really, truly puts this book over the top, even more than the unbelievable promise of vomit, is the fact that its cover has faint but unmistakable ... teeth marks. Front and back. I swear to god. Can you see them? Click on the image. On the front cover, right at the top, just right of the ascending "U" ... I am telling you, I'm not sure a paperback could get more tawdry than this one. It's quintessential paperback smut in every way. So amazing. I feel honored to be in this book's presence.
And now, the moment you've been waiting for, the cherry on top. Oh man, I'm not sure how I'll ever top this. Just remember that both the people in the following dialogue are male:
... Tim stretched his arm up and when the thing came down, it landed in my lap. I had felt that same sensation before in the shower. Tim felt it with his big fist and grinned.
"Looks like you've been behind the barn." [ed.: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?]
"A few times. Is that bad?"
"All of us do it sometimes! That's life. Nothing wrong in it; but there are better ways."
"I know about girls."
"Do you know about boys?"
If Samuel Beckett, Erskine Caldwell, and a crack pipe had a baby, it would write like this. And it goes on like this. On and on. And On. And it's shocking, not so much in sexuality, but in plain, sheer, unmitigated, unfathomable goofiness. If the book weren't in such great condition (VG - some creasing to covers and spine, mild scuffing - otherwise very square and tight), I would read it. I think. I'm not sure how much surreal pseudo-smut my brain can take. I've never pushed it that way.
If I ever do merchandising for this site, the first item will be a t-shirt that says simply: "Looks like you've been behind the barn"