Tag Archives: satire

Huckleberry Milton by Bradley J. Milton

Review: Rather like the description provided by the author below, I found the novel itself trying really hard to be something, but I wasn’t really sure of what, as it didn’t define itself for me. I’ve never read Huckleberry Finn, nor ever had the desire to do so. And almost from the first paragraph of this work, I found the wording difficult to understand. The format of switching left to right side justified throughout was unnecessarily distracting for me as well.

I found the work “Huckleberry Milton” to be surprising and refreshing in a way, but that still makes me question the generalization of phrases like “today’s sensibilities.” Today where, or in what society?  Not to mention, the fact it would be liked by anyone “appreciates the rare, odd humor of a mind”…I appreciate the rare and odd humor of a mind, but humor can be individual besides cultural and more, and just because it didn’t appeal to me doesn’t mean I am not. So the descriptions itself, with so many labels of how groundbreaking, original, new, shocking in its power and entirely new American (that one especially since I am not) the novel is, was somewhat off-putting for me.

To me it boils down to this: Huckleberry Milton is a very, very interesting novel but I also found it somewhat pretentious, but perhaps that was the intention in the spirit of Mark Twain’s world-renown works.

Description: Having made the international news in 2010 after publication of a new “politically correct” version of Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, in which the infamous and controversial “n-word” in Twain’s classic novel had been replaced with something less offensive to today’s sensibilities, now we get the full monty: business executive, former Deadhead and ’80s technologist Bradley J. Milton has gone far beyond a simple one-word search-and-replace.

Using his neo-retro technology, a Windows PC and a dollop of hardcore psychedlia, he brings us an entertaining work so original, new, and entirely American that it shocks with its power — pushing the bounds of the novel with a message so unique, pressing and ultimately controversial that it may be the Finnegans Wake of our century.

It’s well into the second decade of the 21st century, where Osama bin Laden is dead and universal health care is coming for all — yet it’s also Evening in America, where the nation is faced with an unsolveable fiscal crisis at a time when, to the young generations, Woodstock is not even a memory … nor is Howard Cosell, Telly Savalas, CHiPs — or the original Charlie’s Angels, for that matter.

Enter the post-pomo meta-character Huckleberry Milton as he leaves the safety of his Twitter account and cramped office cubicle and goes off on a cross-country mindquest to bring this country together, melding the forgotten pop culture of decades past with the goings-on of now, reviving the counter-culture of the Sixties, and doing it with an amalgam of DIY technology: ’80s IBM PC software, 21st century future-tech, and plenty of hardcore psychedelia.

Can a robotic Jerry Garcia revive the Grateful Dead, playing ad-hoc (and continuous) concerts at local shopping malls, schoolyards and Subway restaurants, jump-starting a sinking economy and leading the way to a new, highly profitable American Dream?

Huck Milton — himself a product of Burroughsian cutup technique, AI experiments, gratuitous Notepad cut-and-paste operations, and something much deeper — shows the darkness, the fiery colors, the depth and originality of the idiot-savant mind of Bradley J. Milton.

A failed concert at Altamont over 40 years ago where the Hell’s Angels rough up the crowd quickly fades into Ed Wood graveyard backdrops, classic Hammer film horror scenes, Platonic dialogues between Laverne and Shirley — shots ring out in the cold air on the campus of Kent State, just beyond some grassy knoll — meanwhile back at the office, the new DOS 3.1 diskettes have arrived, and someone is dialing out on a modem with PROCOMM … a mysterious figure is attempting to be the next Jim Morrison, preaching to the dot-commer kids at Height-Ashbury … meanwhile on Twitter, delayed Morse code messages arrive from a capsized Love Boat (circa 1978), and tens of thousands of followers and members of the new ‘Generation SHOP’ are urging Yoko Ono to lead the new economic revolution.

Fans of Hunter S. Thompson’s drug-addled gonzo psychedelia, William S. Burroughs’ tripped-out routines, William T. Vollman’s deep weirdness, and anyone who appreciates the rare, odd humor of a mind that can blend five decades of pop culture into a musical lyric lullaby is going to love what this “business executive” (and former Deadhead) has conjured up: an American joyride that rockets through time, space, and several uncharted dimensions, bringing us to a crystalline happy Somewhere that we never thought we had access to.

 

Author Bio

Business executive and former Deadhead Bradley J Milton has spent years attempting to combine the American counter-culture of the 1960s with today’s global corporate reality, with a goal of making the world a better place — and highly profitable, too!

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Filed under Fantasy, Speculative

1492 and All That: A Fool’s History of the USA by Richard Minadeo

Review: Being an American of the variety that were already there when Christopher Columbus “sailed the ocean blue”, having been born in Germany and lived half my life there, I learned a long time ago humour can be very much related to cultural perceptions. Among other things. For me, I could see where some would find this “fool’s history” amusing for the constant turn of phrase and closely coordinating play on words that basically poke fun at The USA and other countries of the world and their history, but it simply didn’t suit my personal tastes. Some slightly cynical, ironic, tongue-in-cheek observations I found interesting but basically because they were truth from my perspective. That was the irony for me.

I found it very “new” American and for the strata of the population who consider themselves intelligent, clever and “in the know”, and those who don’t “get it” as being the polar opposite of themselves. I understand as well making fun of certain groups also, as long as the original premise is correct. When the original premise is wrong in the first place, it becomes even less funny to me as it suggests that fundementally those groups have not been understood. Also some of the underlying jokes seemed to mask some very negative shots at the current president and its administration (that last part is a true misnomer these days). But maybe that’s suppose to be the funny part?  It’s marked both as fiction and non-fiction, depending on your view. If you care for comedy, satire, “roasts” and are likely a “main core” of America, you might find “1492 and All That,” but American History, of any sort, was never one of my favorite subjects.

Description: The “fool” of the title is the inept narrator, who takes us on a warm but clueless tour of US history. He stops briefly to visit American culture, the American mind and various problems he claims to solve but fails even to illuminate. Presidents get harpooned along with both parties. Yet the view is ever rosy, including a glimpse of endless prosperity that “only Yankee Doodle dares dream of.”

Publication Date: Jan. 02, 2011

Publisher: Richard Minadeo

Buy Link: Smashwords

Genre: Comedy, Satire, Parody

Author Bio:

Education: BA Syracuse University 1951
MS University of Wisconsin 1956
PhD University of Wisconsin 1965

Profession: Wayne State University Professor of
Classics 1961-1996

Publications: The Lyre of Science 1969, nominated
for a Pulitzer Prize by the Wayne
State University Press

The Golden Plectrum 1982

The Thematic Sophocles 1994

Richard Minadeo, a Youtube video where the author introduces himself to his prospective readers and shares several selections from his work “1492 and All That: A Fool’s History of the USA.”

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Filed under Fiction, Non-Fiction, Reviews