by W.P. Kinsella
Garbage Head, by Christopher Williard (Esplanade Books, $18, 247 pages, ISBN: 1550652060). Speaking of ax-grinding, Williard simply wants to say something negative about every aspect of modern society, especially about media and malls. The style, if it can be called a style (people speak sentences into midair, not really expecting answers) is annoying, and the repetition mind-numbing. This is the opening of the novel:
The realtor says, "Acorn Street is the perfect place
The realtor says, "They're all hardwired."
The realtor says, "Each one is FamilyTrak installed,
they're basically your above-average DSL wired
The realtor says, "Nothing ever happens here unless
you want it to."
And so it goes on and on. Garbage Head, a 20-something with no visible means of support, develops the quirky ability to predict what those on TV or radio will say before they say it-a useless ability if there ever was one. An appearance on the Fabulous Gigi Fandone Show rockets him to fame. Not surprisingly, he uses his "gift" to predict the winning numbers in a lottery, and is then considered a threat to society and arrested by the FBI. This concept is something a slow-thinking 17-year-old might come up with. The word garbage pretty well sums up the content of this novel.