Chuck’s Critiques by Charles LePage
Clifford Meth and Dave Gutierrez
While Brandon is enjoying a well deserved break, I am attempting to catch up on some reviews I have promised. The first is for a collection of stories from Clifford Meth called BILLBOARDS. The main story in this book revolves around a future where people earn their keep by turning their bodies into living advertisements. We get to see what happens when you accept or refuse the ads, and also what happens when you decide you don’t want to be the yellow pages on feet anymore.
The language, themes, and pictures are not for, and certainly not intended for, young readers. “Adults” and “mature readers,”, however, will appreciate this collection of stories about the future of America and Americans. Sadly, Clifford Meth seems to have a very accurate crystal ball, as the United States, growing deeper into debt, mostly owing that debt to China, is increasingly finding itself nothing more than a market for products and services created elsewhere. Most everything we wear, watch, and play with is made in China. Even our food is more and more coming from somewhere else. The notion of human beings turning their bodies into permanent advertisements is not so far fetched. We are willing to tattoo and pierce ourselves from top to bottom, so why not turn ourselves into billboards?
The rest of the collection continues the theme of confusion and depravity, whether it be in the realms of sex, gender, or business. Much like the main story, the shorter tales are over the top, but certainly not impossible to imagine in the “real world.”
I give BILLBOARDS 4 out of 5 geek goggles, if I can presume to issue such prestigious awards.