Tooth Imprints on a Corn Dog (by Mark Leyner)

Not many words come to mind to describe this book. But I liked it. Immensely. It seems like it’s probably the sort of writing that would polarize people’s opinions. I can’t say for sure, because I didn’t hate it nor do I know of anyone who hated it, but I also know of no one who liked it, so more or less I am my only example. Which is a pretty pitiful basis for deducing this. Until contradicted, though, I’m going to stick with this assessment.

Which brings me, inevitably, to face the fact that I’m going to have to cough up a quote from the book in order to give you an idea what it’s like. Since I’m incapable of actually describing it in, well, words. So here you go, a completely randomly selected portion:

(It is now necessary to disclose that I’ve distorted the truth about why I’m in L.A. I’ve indicated that, having accepted the Der Gummiknüppel assignment, I flew to Los Angeles and checked into a suite at the Chateau Marmont to avail myself of the solitude and serenity needed to compose the commissioned poem. Eager to undergird my status as an incorruptible belletrist devoted to his art, I neglected to mention that I’d been planning to be in Hollywood anyway because production begins tomorrow on my movie. It’s about a family that has a terrarium of tiny people. It’s my original screenplay based on my original story which is based on my original eight-word haiku that I composed after an intravenous thiopental injection prior to my tonsillectomy when I was six. This is a Major Motion Picture. Mammoth budget, marquee stars, Oscar-winning director, lavish special effects, hip soundtrack—featuring Chix with Dix recorded at a higher speed to sound tiny. MAJOR.)

If you enjoyed this fragment (from page 149, FYI), there’s a chance you might enjoy the rest of the book (which is in fact short and medium-length stories). If not, you’d best avoid it. So there. Tooth Imprints on a Corn Dog by Mark Leyner. I liked it, you might not. Maybe you will. And maybe you’ll never know.