I will never look at tuna fish sandwiches the same again.
I've wanted to read Les Claypool's novel since he released it in 2006, hoping for some insight into his skewed perspective on life, and this it has in spades. It reads like snapshots of his life growing up are used to provide the infrastructure around which the novel is wrapped. You get a feeling that Claypool lived many of these events in real life, though maybe not the gruesome parts, though his macabre sense of humor is certainly evident.
The book is basically a fishing tale of two brothers, gone very awry. Primus fans can almost picture Claypool and guitarist Larry LaLonde as the brothers, bobbing around in a small boat in one of northern California's backwater bays, drinking beer, eating stale sandwiches, and baiting hooks with grass shrimp. In fact Primus song and character references abound throughout the novel, the old diamondback sturgeon making an appearance, in fact playing a major role, and much of the story takes place in El Sobrante, the backwater town that features prominently in Primus songs and the place where Les and Larry grew up.
The book is a little slow to start, but becomes more engaging the deeper you go, by the final bloody climax your hooked like a sturgeon, and the twist at the end is disconcerting.
The jacket references the writing to be something akin to Hunter S. Thompson, but aside from the many drug references I don't see it. Thompson's drug referencing rants were always fantastic, beyond the pale of imagination, and usually bitingly satirical. Claypool's use of drugs in his work is a much more gritty, honest, pale, nauseous and sweaty portrayal of drug abuse with no satire at all.
It's a good read, not for everyone, graphic sex, drugs, and violence, and fishing. I took a 30 minute shower after I finished and still didn't feel clean. Felt a little seasick too.