March 2, 2012

Cripple Wolf by Jeff Burk Review

By Jeff Burk
Eraserhead Press
Review by: Ronnie Tucker
Review posted 3/02/2012

Although the book is called Cripple Wolf, the title refers to one of several bizarre short stories written by Jeff Burk.

Cripple Wolf
is, I kid you not, a story about a wheelchair bound werewolf on a plane. No, seriously, it is. And it's awesome! It's exactly the kind of story that, if it was made into a film (which I think it should be), I'd be the first in line to see it. You really can't go wrong when the story begins with a werewolf gnawing a chunk from a baby while people are queuing up to ride on Fetish Flights. The story begins with a Vietnam vet who likes his fetishes and is about to board a Fetish Flights plane on the night of a full moon. I'm not going to spoil the story for you as you really need to read it to believe it. The only downside to the story is the stereotypical, cardboard, Japanese band members, but other than them Cripple Wolf is a top-notch short.

Frosty And The Full Monty
is a short about Frosty the snowman who's fallen on hard times and works in a strip club. Although we do learn that in his past Frosty robbed a liquor store, did time in jail, probably got snow-raped, but did learn to give good snowjobs hence his seedy life. Absolutely mad, but again, it's so mad it's brilliant.

Cook For Your Life
is about contestants in a futuristic 'fighting for your life' cookery show involving cannibalism. I felt it wasn't as good as the previous two stories, but it's still good and unusual since parts of it are written like a script rather than a story.

House Of Cats
is about a house made of cats. No, really, it is. There's also a house of dogs next door and, needless to say, they don't quite get along that well. This one was so-so to me but it was unusual in that it was written in a very fairy tale 'once upon a time' style.

Adrift With Space Badgers tells the tale of off-duty space badger fights and, in the end, how they (inadvertently) get their own back. Another story that's as mad as a box of frogs, and up there with Frosty and Cripple Wolf.

Punk Rock Nursing Home... well, I'm sure you can guess what it's about. One of the weaker ones for me, but I'm no punk rock fan, so maybe that had something to do with it?

Just Another Day In The Park is a bit of a Twilight Zone short with a man trying to figure out what a mute woman, on a box, with a blank cardboard sign is trying to say. Probably the weakest of the lot, but still OK.

Thankfully there are no real duffers in the book. If you like your gore odd then this is definitely a book you need to read. I thoroughly enjoyed it!