When we think of the writing of Bradley Sands, three words immediately come to mind: smart, absurd and hilarious. Bradley Sands has been writing bizarro fiction for over a decade, he has released 3 Collections, 1 standalone novella, and 3 novels. Over this decade we can see how his writing has evolved, and anyone who is familiar with bizarro, or smart and funny writing in general will find something to enjoy in his bibliography. Sands has been active in the writing community, often contributing to journals and magazines, as well as running Bust Down The Doors And Eat All The Chickens until its closure.
The Absurdist & Bizarro Debut
It Came From Below The Belt was released in 2006, and showcases an early example of Sand’s style. Out of all his work, perhaps except for the short story collection that followed, My Heart Said No, But The Camera Crew Said Yes! …Below The Belt features wild metaphors, funny jokes, surreal humour and even at one point a choose your own adventure style reading. It concerns time travel, a penis and high school. If you’re a big fan of bizarre want more absurdist writing than literary fiction, this may be the place to jump in, otherwise you may find yourself lost in the fantastic.
The First Absurd Collection
My Heart Said No, But The Camera Crew Said Yes! Is perhaps one of the hardest to access of Sand’s work. While …Below The Belt had the framework of a novel to hold it together, …Camera Crew… is like well written flashes of madness appearing at the reader. There’s plenty to admire in this book, but unless you’re deeply comfortable with jumping in and potentially being lost, this may be one of the later ones you want to come to.
The Second Collection
Sorry I Ruined Your Orgy is the start of what some view as a notable progression of Sands’ work. Never leaving the bizarre behind, his writing has consistently been wild, weird and wonderful. This little book of prose poems and short stories shows us the humour at a more obvious view. Whether it’s prose about an orgy gone wrong, Leatherface being Shakespeare or a lampooning of Shakespeare, Sands charms in this book. It’s a quick read, but you’ll want to go back through it, and is a great insight into the work that comes to him over the later years.
The Brilliant Novella
Rico Slade Will Fucking Kill You is perhaps Sands’ best known work. It follows Rico Slade, and the actor who plays him, as he embarks on a quest across Hollywood. Filled with childish humour, play on narrative and throat ripping, it’s a quick and hilarious read. This is the place to jump in if you’re a fan of laughing out loud so much you pee yourself, as well as an introduction to how Sands’ writing progresses to more literary fiction, while still retaining that sense of weirdness that people love.
The Third Collection
Please Do Not Shoot Me In The Face: A Novel is not a novel. It’s a collection of three novellas, and acts somewhat as a nice portfolio for the overview of Sands works. Ranging from a novella about fighting fast food franchises, to a humorous tale of a kid detective. Meanwhile, sprinkled with interlude between novella that are deathly self-aware, examining why people pretend collections are novels and searching for the link that means the book can be called a novel.
Pop Culture Mashup
TV Snorted My Brain contains one of the best opening chapters of a novel that I’ve read in a long time. It’s so funny that there should be a disclaimer for drinking milk in a 24 hour proximity otherwise you may just end up snorting it out your nose instead from laughing so much. The rest of the novel doesn’t quite hold up in as high regards, but for all the wacky scenarios and it’s merit for being a retelling of King Arthur but set in TV land, it deserves your attention.
The Best Book Yet
Bradley Sands’ most recent book, Dodgeball High might well be his best yet. Set in a high school where everything revolves around Dodgeball, and features one of the best narrators I’ve read in a long time, who is as unreliable and hilarious as they come, it’ll leave you breathless from laughing just like you took a dodgeball to the ribs. Full of twists, turns, jokes and dodgeball fights, it’s definitely the best one yet. Check out Dodgeball High if you’re a fan of action movies and laughing, if not, you may be pummeled with dodgeballs.
So that’s our guide to the fiction of Bradley Sands, and it’s up to your personal literary tastes where you’d like to jump in. Unfortunately, a few of his books are out of print, so publishers should leap at the opportunity to include such gold in their catalogue. And, rumour has it it’s not too long till there’s a new release by the author.
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