This book was one of four from the first go around of the New Bizarro Author Series from Eraserhead Press. For more information on this book, check it out here (and consider supporting Kevin Shamel and the NBAS.)
(CAUTION: mild spoilers ahead…) This is a story of animals who talk, drink, screw, poop (a lot) and make movies. They run across a kid, Cage, who sees them doing these things and have two options: kill him as animal law requires, or use him in a snuff film and become famous. They choose the latter and let’s just say, things don’t go real well for poor Cage. Rotten Little Animals is a creative, memorable and fun book. These rotten little animals live up to their names (Filthy Pig, Stinkin’ Rat, etc.) and their violence and anger were not what I was expecting from a book about talking animals. That’s a definite plus here and is one of the things that make this story unique. There were some parts that could have been a little tighter, and other ideas that I wished would have been more closely examined, but all things considered, this was a unique and enjoyable story.
What I Didn’t Like: The middle lagged a bit and the narrative bogged down with patches of “telling-not-showing”. Also, (SPOILER!!!) nearly all the main animal characters are killed off halfway through the book and replaced by new animal characters in the last 3 chapters, so we barely have time to meet these new animals before we come to the end. However…
What I Did Like: Everything else. Inventive and clever at times, sophomoric and scatological at others, I laughed through a good deal of this. When I read a book from this general genre (bizarro, humor, weird, in-between) I want these three questions answered affirmatively and anything more, for me, is gravy: Was it fun? Was I entertained? Did I come away feeling it was worth my time? In all three cases, the answers were yes. If you read RLA, you will have fun, you will be entertained and these animals will stick with you long after you’re done. Martini Party!