What is this, a conspiracy of librarians? A booksellers' union grudge? This rebarbative but very funny novel Although not nearly as well known as Philip K. Dick, Jeff Lint led a bizarre life and enjoyed a prolific but wildly uneven literary career that was eerily similar to that of the famed cosmonaut of Steve Aylett.
Jeff Lint was author of some of the strangest and most inventive satirical SF of the twentieth century. Lint, Marsden's creator, is himself a fiction. He's the brainchild of the British SF writer Steve Aylett, whose mock biography Lint tells you more than you need to know—the ungainly apparatus to a great pop joke.
Lint The Incredible Career of Cult Author Jeff Lint
Why should the mock biography fall short of the mock comic? The craziness and career of Jeff Lint mirror that of Philip K. Dick Lint and Dick are both '28 Chicago babies. Critically reviled, mystically inclined "Went around blessing people—knew it was the most annoying thing he could do, " notes a friend , Lint is meant to emblematize the sci-fi writer as simultaneous cultural outcast and culture hero. But this character has already been done better, and toting better names—by Vonnegut Kilgore Trout , inspired by Theodore Sturgeon , and by Dick himself Horselover Fat.
On the other hand, who cares? Printed on cheap paper, Linthas the tactile qualities of the Lintian output, the wobbly energy of a first draft.
Getting miffed over this fiction might mean Aylett's doing something right, or as Lint remarks, "Perhaps putting a byline to truth is as pointless as painting a torpedo. But you wouldn't want to do it twice.
Lint by Steve Aylett
A coincidence? Reading Lint , one cannot help but be compelled to think that Lint - as described in the book - is himself writing the book. Aylett's biography is every bit as brilliant, as hilarious, as pithy and as psychedelic as anything he describes as being written by Lint. Now, Aylett - as he calls himself - would probably have you believe it's because his subject is so inspiring.
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Readers who make the journey through Lint's bewitching life and double death will be inclined to think otherwise. After all, Aylett himself tells us that, "Jeff Lint is buried in a Taos graveyard, his headstone bearing the epitaph, 'Don't think of it as a problem, but as a challenge which has defeated you.
Starting with his birth on July 6, and ending with his second recorded death on - see above - Aylett follows the journey of this eternal outsider through three generations of writing and culture. He unleashes so many arrows in so many directions, the reader starts to feel a bit like a pincushion, but he at least has the good grace to hit the majority of his satiric targets.
And beyond telling more jokes than any sane reader would care to count, Aylett does another very clever thing. The usual journey we encounter in a supposedly faux biography has the created character take the form of the ultimate insider. From birth to death, they happen to meet with the high, the mighty and the magnificent, all on a shambling life's journey.
What Aylett does here is to invert that journey. Lint is not the ultimate unheralded insider but instead the ultimate unheralded outsider.
He's ejected from every club that anyone would reasonably want to be aligned with. His obnoxious and oblivious behavior assures that every time his talent threatens to bring him to the notice of the public at large, he is instead given a kick to his keester and sent on his merry way. Yes, Lint does hit all the grace notes.
We see a page from his rejected script for an episode of Star Trek, and he authors an absolutely mad book on the Kennedy assassination. His screenplay for Patton is a scream -- as described by Aylett. One can certainly imagine it was no picnic for those who had to actually read it.
But Aylett makes the most of his form, and gives us just the hilarious highlights from the mad mind of Jeff Lint. And make no mistake about it, Lint was certifiable. Lint's prose, as Aylett tells us, was even trippier than that of his more heralded contemporary, Philip K. The two lives share many similarities, and readers who enjoy the fiction of Philip K. Dick and Jeff Lint, of course will surely find a lot to like in this faux-fictional biography. For this reader, the prose is the real giveaway that Lint and Aylett are one in the same.
Yes, we see the work of Lint excerpted regularly, and yes, you understand that one must not be on drugs to write such material.
But then Aylett himself will succeed at writing sentences that will surely make the reader's head spin at a speed fast enough to generate artificial gravity. While the writer must not do drugs when creating the prose, the reader need not do drugs when reading this prose. Pass the paragraph, man. I need another hit. Though he covers the worlds of science fiction, Aylett also masters the horror genre when he describes Lint's contribution to daytime children's TV, Catty and the Major. There's a single paragraph here that is extremely surreal, disturbing and will haunt the reader for years to come.
It's perfect nightmare material, the quintessential bad acid trip. No matter how you take it - those who find it a bit strong to read may prefer to smoke the material and thus dilute the effect - Lint is clearly the work of a mind in the advanced stages of both creative genius and insanity. There are so many memorable and repeatable one-liners here that you'll want to take notes. Make sure you do, because this is an experience you deserve, and an experience you deserve to profit from.
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Or as Jeff Lint puts it, "When the abyss gazes into you, bill it. He has hallucinations about grizzly bears and dances on all fours when shot at by firearms. He also has a penchant for sitting still for disturbingly long periods of time before embarking on random killing sprees. Naturally he possesses all the elements of a comic-book superhero. Desperately out of print since when the series was cancelled because of issue nine, in which Marsden goes on a killing spree at Disneyland , The Caterer is arguably the strangest comic book ever published.
Word bubbles crammed with postmodern rants are paired with action-packed panels illustrated in stereotypical '70s form. Reading it is essentially an exercise in tolerance and bewilderment.
Lucky for us, its creator, Jeff Lint—author of sci-fi cult classics Jelly Result and The Stupid Conversation —saw fit to at least reprint issue three on glossier paper that, thankfully, retains the cheesy '70s ur-color. This is the opening panel. Rather than question the demand, the blond secretary lets Marsden continue: "If you take a catfish by the whiskers and pull outward it inflates into a life raft. I know this for a fact, Mister Skeleton. Bats only attack sick animals, such as your future. Painting leaves green, which were green, complete, repeated and artificial I suggest reading it with friends so you don't feel so alone.
The Caterer 's surrealism is a bit Lynchian, except with goofier dialogue about air jelly, bulk lard, and human innards made of liquid. Throughout the course of this particular issue, a plot may be unfolding, but it's hard to say what it is. On the next page, he asks a tombstone if it has any "ciggies.
And for all its silliness, the writer manages to churn out rather striking prose. Before Marsden's final killing spree of innocent townspeople, he tells them, grinning: "People don't mature, they just lose interest. The penciling is painfully average. It's almost as if the panels were drawn first and then the writer filled the word bubbles with the most disconnected sentences he could imagine. Further compounding The Caterer 's weirdness is that author Jeff Lint never lived. Aylett has written an entire faux-biography of Lint, called Lint.
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Dick, and had a fan in the young Ann Coulter. A representative sentence: "On July 13, , Lint had a near-death experience, followed immediately by death. Lint is fairly easy to come by—a good bookstore will be able to get it—but for The Caterer , a jaunt to your favorite retailer probably won't do. I suggest visiting www. In the short time I've owned it, I've read it more times than I have the finer comics of note. For instance: "It seemed he had sneezed out an entire brainlobe in early adolescence, and what remained swam in his skull like a lone crouton.
Cliches are absurdly literalized.