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Meat Puppet Cabaret [Hardcover]

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Item description for Meat Puppet Cabaret by Steve Beard...

Meat Puppet Cabaret is a dark fantasy novel that restores the perverse sex, bad drugs and violent rock 'n' roll to contemporary folklore. It starts from a weird idea: what if Jack the Ripper were a demon summoned by the black magician John Dee to steal Princess Diana's baby Allegra from the scene of the car crash in Paris? What if Allegra were hidden in a children's home in East London, but then 14 years later escaped? The novel follows Allegra's adventures as she quests to discover her true identity in a nightmare alternate England. She encounters King Charles in orbital exile, Stalinist bioplasma engineer Natasha Supanova, the conspiratorial Osiris Club, drug alchemist Eddie Boy Krishna, ex-DJ and reality TV showman Mark 23 and gangland queens the Karma Twins along the way before finally confronting John Dee in his hideout beneath Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath. This is a novel that takes the legacy of H. P. Lovecraft and updates it for a mediamatic technopagan world.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   236
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.98" Width: 1.02" Height: 0.31"
Weight:   0.05 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jun 13, 2006
Publisher   Raw Dog Screaming Press
ISBN  1933293160  
ISBN13  9781933293165  

Availability  0 units.

More About Steve Beard

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Dr Geoff Waugh is the founding editor of the Renewal Journal and author of books on renewal and revival.

Steve Beard currently resides in London.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Horror Fiction > Dark Fantasy
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Literary
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General
5Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > General
6Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Meat Puppet Cabaret?

3.5 stars just for the effort alone.. BIZARRO INDEED  Sep 26, 2007

I can't imagine the time and effort it took the author to write this tome. British history and sci-fi ponderings coupled with occultic philosophy. If Genesis P-Orridge and William Burroughs got together and wrote a book clean and sober.. this is what it might look like. Not that the book isn't full of drugs; it is. But there's a definite method to the madness.

It was a difficult read, though. The language is rich and full of references to things that, honestly, I knew nothing about. Perhaps it's the cultural difference (the author is from England) but some of it was over my head. Even so, I can recognize the underlying bizarro brilliance in the set-up and subplots.

If you are sick of reading the usual Jack the Ripper theories and you want a new one that's soaked in sci-fi, the occult, and history, this book is one you might think about reading. I warn you: it's mind-bending.

The whole feeling of hidden occult theories and ideas will give you that feeling you get when you read Lovecraft. You know.. that feeling that something just isn't right with the world. But now make the feeling even WEIRDER. That's what you get here.

The detailed writing is meticulous which might turn some readers off (especially ones used to reading the furiously paced bizarro literature of Carlton Mellick III). Do give it a try, though. Dig deep and find yourself trapped in some pretty trippy stuff.

Either utterly brilliant or totally mad  Dec 28, 2006
"Baroque: Elaborately or grotesquely ornate; whimsical, bizarre."
-- Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, Fifth Edition

Yeah, I really had to look it up. Prior to the trial by fire that was my exposure to author Steve Beard's Meat Puppet Cabaret, I had never heard of "a baroque novel" (as the cover describes it), let alone read one. I didn't even know that baroque described anything other than the musical era in which Johann Sebastian Bach flourished.

But it turns out I have come into contact with other baroque novels before. It's the last word of the definition that is the most telling, especially with the knowledge of Raw Dog Screaming Press as a major proponent of the bizarro movement. Bizarro fans should eat up Beard's novel (though it is doesn't really fall into that category), as should fans of William Gibson and Philip K. Dick, and anyone who has enjoyed movies directed by David Lynch. Meat Puppet Cabaret is deliberately weird, but it is also amazingly readable.

Beard (Digital Leatherette) has made his book so ineffably strange and off-kilter that you can be forgiven for missing the brilliant underlying narrative. Even the book cover copy is misleading; you would think that Meat Puppet Cabaret is a novel about "Jack the Ripper ... a demon summoned ... to steal Princess Diana's baby," but those are only the ideas behind the novel: they're the catalyst of the story, but the actual story is the aftermath.

Our focus is on characters with improbable names like Doctor Double Oh No, Eddie Boy Krishna, Dead Girl, Professor Natasha Supanova, Mark 23, and Jack the Mack (who may or may not actually be each other) as we follow them through a series of events that are as convoluted as they are imaginatively presented. Beard uses all the media available to him and Meat Puppet Cabaret is a collection of tangentially interrelated vignettes, each possessing a different format from text messaging to investigative reporting, from a video game script to an interrogation, from pure dialogue to pure narrative. They are consistent within themselves but totally different from each other; a single character can be known by two different names, depending on the subplot, and it's up to the reader to sort it all out.

Steve Beard is either utterly brilliant or totally mad, and though I know the two aren't necessarily mutually exclusive, I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. To say that Meat Puppet Cabaret was a challenging read would be a hyperbolic understatement. Nevertheless, there is a deep underlying plot beneath all the bells and whistles -- an completely fascinating storyline (peppered with astonishing revelations) that reaches a wholly satisfying conclusion. You simply have to take it at its own pace. Trying to force your own expectations upon it would be like trying to perform the Pink Lotus descent with less than 1000 units of tezma, and like Eddie Boy Krishna says, "That Pink Lotus descent will screw you every time."

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