The semi-delusional, pragmatically optimistic, drug propelled protagonist of Steve Abee’s new novel titled simply, Johnny Future, is one strange little dude. Through his stream of conscious style narrative, Johnny Future creates vivid allusions of inspiration and insanity for the reader to interpret.
“I stand there holding myself up with the wall. Man, I am wasted. I pee on the floor, and it’s not just pee missing the bowl, not right now. I can’t explain it, but I am missing the bowl. I am the pee and the bowl. The bowl is the universe and I am the universe and I am everything. I’m missing myself. I’m not doing what I should be doing in my life. That’s what my pee is saying to me as I sway and it splashes on the floor, and I am sorry Charlie ‘cause he’s got to live with my pee on his floor. It’s a message in the toilet of Charlie Gone’s house. The pee on the floor is a message. “You can’t pee straight, motherfucker.” That is what it’s saying. You can’t piss, you aren’t doing your real life super parking lot sunlight thing. That is what the toilet is telling me. This is heavy. I don’t want to stand anymore.”
But it’s not all quirky, subtle jokes and reaching metaphors. As you follow Johnny Future along his mission you learn with him, love with him, feel for him, develop genuine interest in his genuine interests – just as you would in any novel worth the dead tree skins it is made from. Still, I was surprised when I found myself choked up at the ending, something which rarely happens to me with literature.
“The Black Angel of Death is crushing me and about to sock me in the head. ‘I’ma kill you, you fucking homeless white trash.’ … I’m getting turned on. Death is kicking my ass and it’s turning me on. I reach up and grab her head and body and pull her toward me, her huge breasts all over my body. I am being smothered by the breasts of Death. We kiss, sloppy saliva tongue dripping on my chin. It’s the kiss of Death.”
The bottom line here is that the book is packed with sex, drugs, violence, and other overly stimulating vulgarities. It is less than 200 pages, so you really have no excuse not to check this book out. Plus, most of the novel reads like this:
“I’m going to get silly knowledge, get good brains, get sideways licking rocket flames from the cavernous depths of inebriation. Gonna get fucked up ‘cause it’s Thursday…”