I promised some book reviews, so here’s the first! This is an amazing book. It is a horrifying, twisted, sick, wonderful book. I really really really enjoyed this.
The Street, by Paul E. Cooley, (available here with his other amazing books) explores what happens to Sesame Street, the Muppet Show and Jim Henson’s other beloved creatures when the neocons take over and cancel PBS. A puppet’s gotta make a living, after all, and when everything’s taken away from you, what do you do?
Whatever you have to.
In Cooley’s dark world, our narrator/guide is none other than Oscar the Grouch, who’s become the Nero Wolfe of The Street, as it’s now known. Paid in Tuaca, Oscar leads us through the nightmare that is his world, as rival gangs divide up their turf and sell dough (cookie), seed and the services of puppet whores to whoever can afford to pay for them. The Street that used to be clean and happy is now a drug-filled hellhole of broken dreams and trash.
Oscar isn’t a saint either, but he’s the closest thing the Muppets have to a good guy. In this rough world, if you need to find a puppet, or stop a killer, you go to the guy in the can. If he can’t help you, well, you’re screwed.
I loved this book. Seriously. I love the Muppets and always have – I grew up watching Sesame Street, Labyrinth, and the Muppet Show. This takes those characters to a dark place, and they survive, because that’s what puppets do. They survive. You will never look at the Muppets the same again, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I can’t wait to see what Paul does next (I’m kind of hoping for a Neighborhood of Make-Believe crossover soon).
Disclaimer: Paul and I are friends. I bought his book and was not paid for this review.
- (writing) Thoughts on writing, process, and language
- (personal) PG Holyfield