After the most recent Forgetting, Ohle’s luckless protagonist Moldenke is in possession of only his name and the bare facts of his former life. He finds himself cruising on the Titanic through a bizarre alternate reality where elective deformation is a fashion trend, neuts and human settlers do their best to live together in relative harmony, and the only available sustenance is stomach-churning fare. Everyone agrees the Stinkers are troublesome and something must be done. President Ratt not only fails to control the Stinker problem, but he also has a penchant for decreeing absurd laws and issuing random vouchers of innocence. Violators with valid vouchers defer their punishments to guiltless bystanders–regulations that land Moldenke and his fellows in prison more than once.
Rumours are circulating that another Forgetting is imminent, and that the Forgettings are induced by Ratt’s radio broadcasts. The prison guard Montfaucon emerges as Ratt’s political rival, and Moldenke, ever the yes-man, finds himself inadvertently involved in a plot to assassinate the president. The rebels hope to return to the Age of Sinatra, “when happiness was not only considered achievable, but hailed as the ideal state of being.”
David Ohle’s first novel, Motorman, was published by Knopf in 1972 under the now-legendary editorial aegis of Gordon Lish. His short fiction has appeared in Harper’s, Esquire, The Paris Review, and elsewhere. He compiled and edited Cursed From Birth: the Short Unhappy Life of William S. Burroughs, Jr., from Grove-Atlantic. A native of New Orleans, Ohle now lives in Lawrence, Kansas, and teaches at the University of Kansas. His last name rhymes with “holy.”
Paper | 4.5″ x 7.5″ | 168 pgs. | ISBN: 1-932360-32-8 | List: $11.95 | 08/1/2004