Foreword Reviews

A Giant Squid in Nylon

Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5

A Giant Squid in Nylon is an unusual story full of diverse characters, with murder and mayhem on the side.

Several individual stories overlap and eventually connect in A Giant Squid in Nylon by Siafu, a sprawling, raucous work that’s defined by its unusually loquacious narration and some truly original characters.

This sequel to Siafu’s Bare With Me introduces a plethora of characters, including Texas cowboys, a precocious orphan, drug dealers, a philandering CEO, law enforcement personnel Sheriff Dubb and Deputy Stubb, a couple of misidentified Sasquatches, a ghostly sprite, and a self-righteous, delusional nurse intent on murder.

Mild-mannered proctologist Percy Goldfarb of upstate New York is planning to attend a medical convention in Butte, Montana, but his getaway is hijacked by his overly demanding, six-foot-tall wife, Ruth, known also as “Winkie Tinks.” She insists that she and her gay personal assistant, Randolph, accompany him to the great West. As both Ruth and her henpecked husband connect with the locals and convention attendees in their own separate social spheres, several story lines play out that ultimately collide—on Halloween night, no less.

A number of events involving the Goldfarbs unfold across different locations in and around the Montana countryside. These add to the complexity and richness of the story, although explicit and cohesive narration make it easy to follow the action. There are no discernible chapter breaks, though, to interrupt the long narration.

The most interesting and poignant parts of the text are its lovely character backstories, including those of a sheriff’s down-to-earth, widowed mother, the truth behind the parentage of young Thurber Larrabee, and the intriguing Spanish ancestry of the Texans. An assault early on seems gratuitous and doesn’t really add to the story; in fact, it’s barely mentioned afterwards.

The narrator addresses the audience directly, commenting on action and characters in a running monologue that usually concludes with the cheery and exuberant “You bet!” This interesting but very unusual device takes some getting used to. It can be confusing to determine who exactly is voicing the sometimes acerbic comments, cheers, and rants.

The adult-oriented topics are batted about in a tongue-in-cheek manner that is sometimes over the top. The narrative reaches for a laugh and sometimes may offend, especially with the misogynistic language it uses to describe women characters and the distinct, dark edge to the chauvinistic and anti-gay dialogue attributed to other characters.

Human drama is wrapped in outrageous antics, making this an unusual, interesting, and thoroughly original story. Events run the gamut from humorous to gross but are never dull. Risqué jokes and language are peppered throughout. An epilogue ties things up very concisely and is a great way to reflect on the many characters introduced.

A Giant Squid in Nylon is an unusual story full of diverse characters, with murder and mayhem on the side.

Reviewed by Robin Farrell Edmunds

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the publisher will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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