The Mulching of America BOOK review by LordOuch

Book Reviews
The Mulching of America BOOK review by LordOuch
Feb 20, 2008, 23:30


THE MULCHING OF AMERICA by Harry Crews; Simon and Schuster, 1995

Every few years, Harry Crews comes out with a new novel. He's been at it since 1968 and shows no signs of stopping. Like the majority of his work, The Mulching Of America takes place in the trash-talking main streets of the small town South. Hickum Looney is a door-to-door salesman in Miami (did I say small town?) and has been just that for the last twenty-five years of his dreary life. Ordinarily successful, Looney plays the game by the rules just like the rest of the salesmen who religiously follow the ideals of the “Boss.” Crews' characters are forgivably pitiful. They just happen to be raised the way they are, and are often times born with handicaps that cover the fact that their special needs are no different than the crucial ones you and I have. Well, usually, but in his latest novel Crews takes the easy route; the main concern of more than one character is that they have small penises and shit themselves. Crews' novels always have an element of the grotesque but he saves his more poetic ideas for the worlds that pervade each of his subplots.

With The Mulching Of America Crews seems to have the target of his satire set on rather low sights. His cast of oddballs wander around spitting out slangy comebacks to each other in the style that Crews is famous for. Entertaining enough, but nothing seems to matter on a grand scale. Crews without a point? I suggest the reader stay tuned anyway. The last twenty pages are dramatically different as they rapidly tie up the very mess you never expected would develop. The Mulching Of America isn't Crews' best novel, but he never disappoints.



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