Item description for Pseudo-City by Harlan Wilson D....
In Pseudofoliculitis City nothing is as it seems and everything is as it should be. Today's forecast calls for extreme confrontation, with sandwich flurries and the threat of handlebar mustaches to the west. By turns absurd and surreal, dark and challenging, Pseudo-City exposes what waits in the bathroom stall, under the manhole cover and in the corporate boardroom, all in a way that can only be described as mind-bogglingly irreal.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.1" Width: 6.1" Height: 1" Weight: 1.1 lbs.
Release Date Jun 1, 2005
Publisher Raw Dog Screaming Press
ISBN 1933293101 ISBN13 9781933293103
Reviews - What do customers think about Pseudo-City?
superior absurd short story collection Jul 17, 2007
The characters of Pseudofolliculitis City (Pseudofolliculitis Barbae: razor bumps) will infect your mind like an itchy rash.
This short story cycle shares a common setting and a common set of characters who experience some extraordinary events. Take for instance the man who wakes up one day and decides to get a job. What does he do? He shaves off his sideburns, puts leashes on them and goes down to the street to sell them as pets. It's such a success that he goes out to celebrate and blows all his money on alcohol and porn. The next morning he ends up selling off his mustache and eyebrows and then, inspired by the profit, he sneaks around during the night and nips off the facial hairs of sleeping bums and gypsies to sell at a stand he dubs "Hairware, Inc." the business does well until confronted with an angry mob of bald-faced freaks who have been robbed of their "pets" and violently demand the return of their hairware.
In the story "The Other Pedestrian" the reader glimpses a satirical take on the other other white meat as a man impersonates a rooster. "When the Law Has Spoken" follows a traveling vacuum cleaner salesman to a family's home with a surprise ending. And in "The Stick Figure" a nine foot tall stick figure crawls out of a manhole to become an accidental murderer.
The amusing absurdity continues in 29 stories that remind me of a cross between Vonnegut, Tom Robbins, Terry Pratchett and Philip K Dick. Wilson's extremely well written prose will guide the reader through this bizarre, funny, violent, subversive world while keeping its own internal logic in tact in such a way that it somehow all makes sense.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of the absurd, satirical and bizarro.
A Needed Break From Reality Dec 13, 2006
I've loved Wilson beginning with the Kafka Effekt, following him at a respectable distance ever since. I won't burble over that book here, but I suggest reading it, strongly suggest. This book (Pseudo-City), this clever accumulation of interrelated stories drifting in and out of absurdity and the bizarre along humorous and deftly satirical lines, is an outpost of the kind of writing we should all aspire to read from time to time. It makes you think a bit, entertains you all along, and the pay off is well worth the effort. If you like your reading off the beaten path (and who with a modicum of intellect doesn't?), I can guide you to no better a book than this. In its pages (I would have liked it a bit longer as I had become enamored of it early on) Wilson creates an entire world for your perusal, a world just a single dimensional step, yet one quantum evolution away from ours. But, oh the evolution. So much to recognize, and so much to find new. If you choose not to read this book, you are only depriving yourself.
Getting familiar with the unfamiliar (or infamiliar) Feb 9, 2006
From a dark sticky Rorschach spot on the face of a Nobody to an illuminating but all too wacko-wacky autopsy involving a mesomorph who pretends to be a corpse... This can be nothing other than the gloomy, moody, brooding and often all to weird literary mind games the young American D. Harlan Wilson likes to cook up. If you liked his former menu's with literary gourmet stuff "The Kafka Effekt" and "Stranger on the loose", you will no doubt like this dish. It's the perfect blend of short movies making with a director going bananas, and literary wit, freshness and creativity. Too off-beat for most common housewives perhaps, too mind bending for white boards and stiff-suits, but ultimately rewarding for everyone with a taste for the awkward and the insane.
Cutting Edge Irrealism Oct 2, 2005
This is a D. Harlan Wilson masterwork. I loved his first two books, The Kafka Effekt and Stranger on the Loose. Pseudo-City is even better. It's a collection of stories and flash fiction set in the same futique, irreal urban dystopia where citizens are equated with hair follicles and nothing, not even death, is as important as a well-made sandwich and a good-looking fedora hat. Schizophrenia isn't an aberration here, it's the norm. Appropriately Pseudo-City contains elements from multiple genres as it satirizes everything from commodity-culture at large to the most inconspicuous human imperfection. There's something for everybody here.
Pseudo-City Review Sep 27, 2005
D. Harlan Wilson rightly refers to himself as an "irrealist." On the other side of the coin, there's another descriptive word-nihilism-that can be used to describe a state of self-denial, the denial of reality itself. In this regard, D. Harlan Wilson can be called a "nihilist" as well, in the truest sense of the word.
For readers unfamiliar with his work, Wilson takes us confidently into a disjointed dimension that is so far flung from everyday reality, a psychotic state of mind where one is immediately swept into a vortex of puzzling disorientation and dreamlike imagery. Pseudo-City, his latest work, is a compilation of twenty-nine short stories, strung into a necklace of improbability, controlled mayhem, and blatant slapstick episodes reminiscent of The Three Stooges had they been denied their daily ration of psychotropic pacifiers. Nothing escapes his insatiable predilection in dissecting the fabric of mundane reality: widow's peaks decide to leave their owner's head to put on his clothes and go for a walk; fictional characters from movies and books go on a murderous rampage on the set of a reality TV show; a Rorschach-Interpreter is frustrated to the point of a nervous breakdown because he can't decipher an ink blotch on the face of one of his subject's; a mediocre salesman wakes up one morning to find that he has an entire kitchen growing out of his backside where his wife cooks their breakfast on a daily basis. All these figments, along with many others, reside inside the pages of Pseudo-City, a place that is lodged firmly in D. Harlan Wilson's irrealistic mind like pieces of stubborn, hair-covered shrapnel.
What one finds at the very onset of this bizarre collection is that hair is a major theme in this most recent book of his. People are not people in the conventional sense, but rather hair follicles that take on the personas of human beings. It's as if everything that has to do with the very creation of the book takes its very existence and point of origin from the proximity of D. Harlan Wilson's head, above and beyond its initial inception. One can sense his imagination steaming a brew beneath the skin of his scalp, beyond the bone of his skull, somewhere deep in the center of his brain. The irreal city is planted (figuratively speaking) atop his head, growing along the sides of his face, over his upper lip, and perhaps engulfing his chin in a cocoon of scraggly whiskers. It is a hair-covered metaphor for his irreal vision that was first telecast in his brain and subsequently transcribed to a digital form before finding print; and finally this sometimes irreverent concoction is conveyed to the reader, page after page of irreal lunacy that palpably claims an absurd and original landscape all its own.
Pseudo-City is a book for people who enjoy dreaming, whether they dream darkly lit nightmares or fractured surreal romps that they struggle to remember upon waking. It is a book for those who are acutely aware of the absurd and find a perverse consolation in its existence. As Thomas Nagel so succinctly put it: "Our absurdity warrants neither that much distress nor that much defiance. At the risk of falling into romanticism by a different route, I would argue that absurdity is one of the most human things about us: a manifestation of our most advanced and interesting characteristics."
D. Harlan Wilson brings those characteristics very much to the fore.