Mike Wilson leads us on a hair-raising journey into the high-color American night. A meteor crashes into greaser Rockabilly’s back yard, setting off a ripple of strange events. The tattoo of a pin-up girl on his back comes to life and begins to exert her murderous control over the suburb. His precocious teenage neighbour Suicide Girl who likes to longingly spy on him from her bedroom window starts lactating. Get the breast pump. And the cigarettes. Now her pet lizard has gone missing. Meanwhile, an invalid with a condition called “facial cranial infantilism” begins to act like the disturbed man everyone expects him to be, pacing the block to quiet his unseemly thoughts. The only one whose head is on straight tonight seems to be Bones, the neighbourhood dog. The tattoo enables him to think human thoughts, to begin to hatch a plan.
With economic language and well-crafted pacing, Wilson’s novel artfully brings the archetypes of the suburban American underbelly together in complex ways. Reflections on the body, mind, and roles in society are silhouetted against the garish light of the Wal-Mart sign.
The meteorite must be buried in here somewhere—it’s time to start digging.