1 What genre is it?
Literature. How easy is that? No genre. Just literature.
3 Does it have sex in it?
Yes. It’s not erotica but there’s sex in it. Dark comedy sex.
4 It’s a comedy?
You’re only hanging around because I said there was sex in it, but that’s all right. The universe is all about sex. I say that Unending Wonders of a Subatomic World (or) In Search of the Great Penguin is serious comedy for thinking people.
5 How long is it? Can I read it in a night?
You’re asking all the right questions. It’s very fucking long. It’s thick with words long. Full of stories and digressions fucking kind of long. There’s no reading this book quickly, but people who read it say they don’t want to read it quickly. They like to reread and reread pages, absorbing them and getting the full heft of them.
6 That sounds kinds of weighty.
Which is why I made it LOL funny. To ease the pain of heavy lifting.
7 I’m a reader who likes weight. Is it weighty enough?
It’s weighty, but I’m sly about it.
8 What’s it about?
Via outrageously hilarious characters and situations, Unending Wonders of a Subatomic World (or) In Search of the Great Penguin takes the reader on a journey into a magical and sometimes alarming level of reality where all is truly connected and no one, nothing, is inconsequential, not even the most seeming minor character. Historical exposition, social commentary, and psychological and spiritual reflection enrich and illuminate the free flowing complexity of the basic plot line which includes the search for the great penguin, a struggling touring band, and a woman fleeing her impending wedding with all the wedding gifts. Unending Wonders of a Subatomic World (or) In Search of the Great Penguin is not a novel to skim lightly. It is an experience that may change the way you view the universe.
9 A woman escaping an impending wedding with all the wedding gifts. I don’t know. That doesn’t sound like hefty lifting to me.
I don’t know what isn’t serious about skipping out on your wedding at the last minute and taking tens of thousands of dollars of gifts along with you to support you in your next phase of life. Faith falls and hits her head and the next thing she knows she’s running off with all the wedding gifts, including an old Ferrari. She immediately happens on an old friend, Chance, who’s a not-living-wage-earner living in her automobile, and kind of kidnaps her into a cross-country ride, less fleeing the wedding than looking for a future. People think Faith is a real asshole, but I like her. She’s Mephistopheles to Chance’s Faustian nature. What Faith thinks she wants is her boyfriend’s father, Grant, a golf shop owner. She flees toward his rocky mountain vacation home in Utah, believing his soul will hear and understand and that he’ll follow. Chance agrees to go because (1) her friend is crazy and needs help, and (2) she hasn’t been on a cross country trip since she was a kid, when she saw the Great Penguin in the desert. She agrees to play guardian, hoping to find that enigmatic great penguin again. Along the way they meet up with a working man’s band composed of musician’s musicians playing crap music for a living. They form a caravan out of New Orleans for the western wilds. Their journey goes something like this.
I spent years on the road, so I know something about all those ouches and how unglamorous the life is. Some of the stories are true. Fictionalized but based on fact.
It begins like this.
10 See the world. Wait. So, it’s a road trip novel. Haven’t there already been enough road trip novels and movies?
Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper ended “Easy Rider” by getting their characters killed, which was only to symbolize the uselessness of their trip, the “trip”, and their spiritual bankruptcy in that they erroneously thought they could find in Florida what they’d failed to locate in their own Hollywood back lots. They should have known better. Dorothy of Kansas had been spreading the gospel for years. But Frank Baum neglected to say that some people have better back yards than others. Actually, to move into unfamiliar territory means sometimes, sometimes, to be forced into seeing the world in a new way.
Plus, they have to find the Great Penguin. Or, Chance has to look for the Great Penguin. They have to do the road thing.
11 What happens?
This is what happens.
Plus, Chance ends up in a near catatonic state from philosophical shock. But the journey of how that happens has to be experienced in the reading.
12 That’s a super cheap looking kind of not an animation. You did that yourself?
You think that’s cheap looking. This is my visualization of what happens when they run into a giant man-eating tumbleweed.
The video’s supposed to look like what it is. That’s part of its charm. Thank you for noticing.
13 Why’s the book cover different in the video?
That was a limited edition first printing.
14 What’s this about the Great Penguin?
I saw it. With my own eyes. I was ten years of age.
How I saw it went something like this, like how Chance saw it when she was a kid and must search for it again.
Chance fully expects it to be there, by the way. There’s no reason for her to believe it shouldn’t be out there, a giant fiberglass penguin in the desert.
15 You’re saying it’s a book with mystic leanings?
And it’s highly political. The mystical is nothing if not mind-fucking, anti-traditional politics.
16 And it has sex in it?
Grant Harm and his lawyer, Priscilla Paisley, like to meet at a little hideaway called the Oasis. She likes to pretend he’s James Bond.
But everything, as I said, is about sex.
An excerpt from “The Swing” chapter:
Unending Wonders of a Subatomic World (or) In Search of the Great Penguin is a veritable titanic of Pathos, a little sugar seasoned with an ocean of salt effervesced with laughing gas. Serious funny business for readers who would rather sink into their stories rather than skim on the waves.
17 While I’m ordering, tell me more about the characters.
I’ll give an abbreviated list below. And, hey, thank you for ordering. Leave a review when you’re done reading.
18 Two more questions. What kind of research did you do for this book?
Life. Life on the road. Plus I did journey across the U.S. looking for the Great Penguin of my youth. That trip eventually germinated the novel. Of course, it was nothing like the trip in the novel, though we did visit some of the places in the novel. I made the trip with my husband and we just had a great time outrunning snowstorms. Crossing over the great Hoover Dam did do a number on our car, as in the book. We didn’t stop in Las Vegas. We had planned to stop, but after so much time in the desert, when we got into Las Vegas, the last thing we wanted to do was ruin the peace with its craziness.
19 What else can I buy of yours?
20 Anything else you want to say about the book?
There’s a lot of sociology in the book.