The Beard

The Beard - Andersen Prunty I once read this in a copy of The L.A. Weekly...
Think of the worst Thai restaurant you ever ate at. Pretty good, wasn't it?

That's how I feel about Andersen Prunty books. The Beard is easily my least favorite of his tales but it is still pretty damn good. In fact, I feel guilty rating it at three stars (actually three and a half stars) but considering the legitimately high ratings I gave to his other works. it feels justified. Prunty is a five star writer in my book, the Nadia Comenici of authors.

So why three and a half? It feels like an early experiment, a bit forced and he didn't nail the landing. I've notice that that some of his other story can be related to classic tales and themes. For instance, Jack and Mr. Grin felt like a tribute to Alice in Wonderland while Fuckness was a close cousin to The Catcher in the Rye. The Beard read like a bizarro Pilgrim's Progress. This is a compliment. It is wonderfully wild, however I can't say it grabbed me like his other novels. But it is above average to anything else out there so I do give it a recommendation with the advice to read other Prunty works also.