Transmutation Blues (Book) Review
Not so much?
“…we need to create someplace or something where people, real people, not those miserable politicians and awful rappers, can open up a mouth and tell what they have gone through.” A man, sorely depressed at the state of the world, sits despondently searching for purpose as Transmutation Blues. There is only one person who can […]
“…we need to create someplace or something where people, real people, not those miserable politicians and awful rappers, can open up a mouth and tell what they have gone through.”
A man, sorely depressed at the state of the world, sits despondently searching for purpose as Transmutation Blues. There is only one person who can fix such a sorry situation – the mysterious F.S. Lif, who suggests that he and the man compile a book that will tell the stories of the little people – those who have had to reinvent their lives due to the currently sad state of the world. With such a change in fortune occurring for people of all income levels, it’s an interesting concept and one that the characters take off and run with.
What follows is essentially a series of short stories, each featuring a character who has supposedly been interviewed by F.S. Lif (with the main compiling of the book left to the unnamed main character). In each story in the first section, the person began their career at one occupation, and moved on to another, with the story following their accounting of what led to the change. The second section features stories that were investigated by Lif, rather than first person accounting, and so they are written in a somewhat different style.
Regardless of which section the stories fall into, they all have a few things in common. First of all, each story contains some reference to an odd man wearing a white hat and clenching an unlit cigar between his teeth. And secondly, they – the people, and their stories – are, well, weird (and rather pointless). From the young man who starts off with a visit to the doctor in regards to injuring himself during frequent self pleasuring who then goes on to take a job at a card store (which he then gets fired from for injuring himself by self pleasuring), to the fallen monk and nun who are inexplicably drawn to religion, only to lose both their families and their lives in faith (and then find a life of mediocrity with each other only to meet a grisly end), the stories just don’t make a whole lot of sense.
There isn’t a moral anywhere, or even a thread of a larger story running through it all, because the characters who are “writing the book” don’t actually make much sense either, making it really quite difficult to immerse yourself in any part of the story. In a word, Transmutation Blues is “unusual”, and for some it might be worth a read simply for the sheer unpredictability of it all. Then again, for most the fact that that unpredictability comes from a lack of coherency might be just too much. Transmutation Blues is a book that will leave you confused, shaking your head and muttering, “What was that?” to the world at large.