Large animal veterinary practice takes on gargantuan proportions in Yoss’s Super Extra Grande, a romp of a novel that weds sci-fi and high farce. In a future that has cracked the code on intergalactic travel, narrator Dr. Jan Sangan treats the largest animals in the galaxy. Something of a giant himself, Sangan suffers from rampant bone growth induced by lengthy space travel during childhood. The overgrowth of bone also affected his face, giving him, by his own admission, the look of “an ogre,” an affliction more than offset by gifted self-promotion and an engaging personality. Opening scenes find him toiling through the alimentary canal of a worm the length of many football fields in search of a client’s lost bracelet, all the while keeping up a lively, freewheeling internal monologue that touches on everything from the volume of mush a worm can disgorge to the competitive nature of intergalactic sex.
The fact that he can endure the muck, stench, and danger of his job has helped Sangan achieve notoriety as the only DVM in the galaxy whose patients could crush him with a single involuntary contraction of the gut. When a single-celled creature the size of a small moon threatens galactic peace by swallowing two ambassadors, Sangan is called to the rescue. As luck would have it, both ladies—one a humanoid from another planet, one a six-breasted Cetian—were once rivals for Sangan’s attentions. There’s little doubt that all will end well, but the pleasure of this book lies in getting there. A delightfully mangled form of Spanglish is laugh-out-loud clever, double entendres abound, and sly literary references provide a double treat for fans of Jonathan Swift.
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