Wisconsin Vamp by Scott Burtness is downright funny—even moreso if you’ve lived any amount of time in the old cheese state or in her sister states. I did a little over a nickel in the state after college (not in prison…I just find the terminology appropriate,) and the language and euphemisms kept cracking me up. The book is funny—not an overt comedy, but that subtle, deeply mirthful kind of humor that interlaces great films like Evil Dead or Lethal Weapon—it’s foundational to the story and the becomes the outlook of the reader. So seamlessly changing the perspective lens of the reader is a mark of truly great writing.
Not only is the form and function of the writing great in a technical sense, so is the language. I marked page three where I found a brilliant nugget that summed up the Packer state. “Trappersville was as different from New Orleans as day-old cheese curds from fresh jambalaya… the tiny town was a tick-infested, cheese-infused, flannel-clad waiting room for the last train to boredom.” Reading that gave me the first smirk of many. I think I’ve visited that town, or one like it, and can tell you the whole place feels authentic… and hilarious… kind of like if Twin Peaks had a slightly normal day.
I received a limited edition copy from the author at an event in exchange for an honest review. If you’d be thrilled to read a grown-up version of Monster Squad, I’d recommend you check this book out. You can get a copy here!