Here we have a novel – could it be the first of its kind? – purporting to be the reprint of a blog. Gus Openshaw is an absurdist Ahab, a middle-aged cat-food cannery employee who has lost his wife, child, and right arm to a blubbery sea beast – "he'd be pushing the max if they had Big & Tall stores for sperm whales" – and who sets sail seeking vengeance. His blog entries describe silly encounters with pirates, a preppy dungeon master, a psychotic cook, the whale-huggers of "Bluepeace," and a nonagenarian navigator, among others. The love interest is his arms dealer's raven-haired intern, who's sold him a remote-controlled robotic giant squid. This is all fairly amusing and entirely inconsequential – an anti-Moby Dick. Grade: B
Because everyone in the Seven Seas is listening to podcasts, my publisher put a recording of the first entry of my Whale-Killing Journal on iTunes (for those of you who can't figure out iTunes (I myself can barely send e-mail), it's below too). It's read by an actor named Jefferson Tholen who is real talented and, as important, doesn't read slow like I do.
P.S. If you've got one of those RSS reader gadgets, here's the address of my podcast in .mp3 format:
Thar Blows The "Gus Openshaw's Whale-Killing Journal" Book!
Shipmates, are you hankering for a good guy-tries-to-get-revenge-against-a-whale story? Good news: The book version of the "Gus Openshaw's Whale-Killing Journal" blog is now officially published, and available both online and at a bookstore in your waters.
Keep checking here for reviews, book tour details, and more information than you could ever want and still be considered healthy.
News from the crew and captor of the whaleboat Georgette:
Flarq the harpooner/scrimshawist is in his second year of art graduate school at Berkeley. Last semester he was failing Art History--no surprise as he’s illiterate. In place of a thesis paper, he drew a scrimshaw of himself hurling a harpoon at the professor. He got an A.
I think Moses the no-longer-drug-addicted deckhand meant to mail me an update, but sent the wrong envelope. It contained no note, and, instead, a half-pound of “Guavan Gold.” Seems Moses has fallen off whatever is the maritime equivalent of the wagon.
Our favorite con man, Nelson the pirate, says “a big cheery hi to everyone!” He’d love to hear from you too. He’s opening a Museum of Keys, he claims, and hopes you’ll send in copies of your house keys so that he can include them in his Shipmates’ Keys exhibit.
Stupid George has been hired an advertising agency to work on a high-profile aspirin account. You know those folks you see on the commercials who have headaches before they take the aspirin? Well, they’ve been in the green room talking to George for the previous hour. George says to “Wish every1 a mary christmiss!”
Admiral Vurman, still at large, sends his best regards to all of you, and a keelhauling (death by dragging you beneath a ship's barnacle-crusted hull (you drown if you're lucky)) threat to me.
Duq the ship’s cook is back in Asia for his VIAA (Vietcong Interrogators Alumni Association) 40th reunion as well as Triple Squeak season. A Flarq scrimshaw to the first of you to correctly tell me what in the heck that is.
The pious harpooner Thesaurus has started a ministry and seeks contributions. He seays to send them c/o Nelson. (Note: This update is from Nelson.)
Bob the rat either is living with our digital shipmate Snuggs, or now we know why the neighbor’s cat is smiling.
As for me, my book comes out next Thursday. Also I just realized that Vurman's been sitting behind me as I've been typing this up, and he's aiming a spear gun at me. So I got to go.