New Bizarro Author, Patrick Wensink, is interviewed today in The LEO, the weekly paper out of Louisville,KY. He talks about Bizarro Fiction and his book Sex Dungeon For Sale
Book: Patrick Wensink is not just weird for weird’s sake
By Pawl Schwartz
Patrick Wensink, an author who recently moved here from Portland, Ore., spent his childhood in rural Ohio mostly alone entertaining himself with his strange thoughts. We have this to thank for his first collection of short stories out on Eraserhead Press, “Sex Dungeon For Sale.” It’s a provocative title for sure, but one glance at the Eraserhead Press website shows it in context, alongside other titles such as “The Haunted Vagina” and “Fistful of Feet.” Wensink seems to have found his niche with this press, one of the foremost publishers of what has been dubbed “bizarro fiction.” Bizarro seeks to exist only at the extreme end of the weirdness scale, to present violence, sex and pop culture at their strangest, and to be, above all, hilarious and entertaining. Excess is key.
Wensink’s collection finds him somewhere in the middle. Yes there is sex and violence, but the author’s excesses stay more in the background, or come to us as consumer goods, the way most things do. My favorite story, “Wash, Rinse, Repeat,” is about a dishwasher company that provides (free of charge) a kill cycle. Huh, what could that button do? I’ll give you a hint: It kills you.
What follows is not only hilarious, but also a commentary on useless goods and the nature of consumer need. This is Wensink’s special touch: to go as far out as possible with character and concept, but still drive a deeper meaning home. He does so by mixing his Palahniukian style with the kind of twisted humor you can normally only find on Adult Swim.