Pygmy by Chuck PalahniukPygmy by Chuck Palahniuk


byChuck Palahniuk

Paperback | April 20, 2010

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“Begins here first account of operative me, agent number 67 on arrival midwestern American airport greater _____ area. Flight _____. Date _____. Priority mission top success to complete. Code name: Operation Havoc.”

Thus speaks Pygmy, one of a handful of young adults from a totalitarian state sent to the United States, disguised as exchange students, to live with typical American families and blend in, all the while planning an unspecified act of massive terrorism. Palahniuk depicts Midwestern life through the eyes of this thoroughly indoctrinated little killer, who hates Americans with a passion, in this cunning double-edged satire of a xenophobia that might, in fact, be completely justified.

From the Hardcover edition.
Chuck Palahniuk’s nine novels are the bestselling Snuff, Rant, Haunted, Lullaby, and Fight Club, which was made into a film by director David Fincher, Diary, Survivor, Invisible Monsters and Choke, which was made into a film by director Clark Gregg. He is also the author of the non-fiction profile of Portland, Fugitives and Refugees, a...
Title:PygmyFormat:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 7.94 × 5.15 × 0.71 inPublished:April 20, 2010Publisher:Doubleday CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0385666306

ISBN - 13:9780385666305

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Rated 2 out of 5 by from Just Couldn't Do It I tried, I really did. Call me simple minded but I just couldn't read the broken-english style of writing. Love the author but this was the first book of his that I didn't finish. The interesting subject matter made it even more frustrating that I had to keep re-reading sentences & paragraphs.
Date published: 2018-01-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Liked it An important book to read especially in these troubled times
Date published: 2017-03-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Decent. Not Palahniuk's best work but it was OK. It was a little tough to get into the writing style at first, but you get the hang of it eventually. Not a bad read.
Date published: 2015-01-19
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not what I expected from Palahniuk I’m not even sure where to begin with this novel. The first book I had ever read by Chuck Palahniuk was Haunted, which wasn’t the most fantastic book that I’ve read, but it was fun and delightfully gruesome. After reading that one, I was hooked on the author and went out and bought a few of his other books. The problem with Pygmy, or the fact that I bought Pygmy, is that I bought it from Amazon, based on it’s premise from the back cover. I thought it sounded really, really good. What I need to learn to do is to first look at a book–a physical, tangible book–before I buy online. Or at least, see if I can look inside the book online. If I had known what I was getting myself into, I probably would have picked up another–any other–Palahniuk book. I’m going to say that it’s not the most terrible book that I’ve read, but it’s not what I was expecting from Palahniuk. The whole thing just fell short of what I was promised–I expected more of an attack by the end, whereas I just got a mediocre, blah ending. And the journey to the ending wasn’t even worth it. I hate ranting on Palahniuk, but honestly, I started skimming by about page 140. One of the good things of the novel is how Palahniuk pokes fun at American life. At times it was very humorous and the way the 13-year-old comrade describes certain things or places is interesting. Though, I felt like something was missing. I hate to ruin the book for you if you haven’t read it, but let me throw out a scenario: Say you and your family are drugged while eating dinner–when you woke up, wouldn’t something more happen than just a little bit of confusion and the carrying on of life? And what about the other eye? (again, don’t want to ruin it, but if you’ve read the novel, seriously, what gives?) The disjointed, choppy writing style was slightly refreshing at first, but just started to get annoying–hence, my skimming. And at times, I felt like it just didn’t make sense. If a 4-year-old can recited the periodic table and is just oh-so-smart, how could he not grasp another language? Why would his dialogue be so choppy? At one point in the novel, the narrator, our comrade who speaks in short, sometimes nonsensical sentences, corrects another characters usage of “who” changing it to “whom.” If he knows how to use “whom” in a sentence, how does he not know English? The book relies heavily on quotes from a variety of communist leaders, which is okay, but towards the end Palahniuk throws in a quote by D.H. Lawrence which just seemed very out of place. Not to mention the fact that the end is tied up in a little bow, so to speak. Again, not what I was expecting. After reading Haunted, I had braced myself for the gruesomeness that Palahniuk incorporates into his writing, but honestly, I didn’t find this book to be that bad. Yes, there’s sodomy and shootings and whatnot, but mix that with the writing style and it’s just not the same. My mouth wasn’t dropping open at any point during the novel because of twists and turns–I didn’t find it that exciting. I know he was going for satire, but maybe I just didn’t get it. I’m not going to give up on Palahniuk, though. I plan to give his other novels a read and I’m sure I’ll enjoy them.
Date published: 2012-01-13
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Ugh. Palahniuk is one of the few authors whose books I buy without reading a page or two at the beginning before I pick up the book. He has long had an auto pass and now I'm sorry he does. I won't pretend to have read much of the book. I barely made it through the first chapter and skimmed the rest. The writing style in this novel was just cringe worthy and I couldn't do it.
Date published: 2011-02-28

Read from the Book

Dispatch FirstBegins here first account of operative me, agent number 67, on arrival Midwestern American airport greater  ___ area. Flight  ___. Date  ___. Priority mission top success to complete. Code name: Operation Havoc.Fellow operatives already pass immigrant control, exit through secure doors and to embrace own other host family people. Operative Tibor, agent 23; operative Magda, agent 36; operative Ling, agent 19. All violate United States secure port of entry having success. Each now embedded among middle-income corrupt American family, all other homes, other schools and neighbors of same city. By not after next today, strategy web of operatives to be established.Passport man, officer nothing behind bullet glass, open and reading passport book of operative me, matching to paper facts of visa, man down look upon this agent, say, "You're a long ways from home, son." Man, ancient penned animal dying of too tall, pooled heavy blood hanging in leg veins. Trapped all day, then could be next walk to toilet, pow-pow, clot knock out brain. Passport man say, "So, you're an exchange student?" Man say, "How old are you, my boy?"On fingers of operative me, am to count one, two until thirteen."So you're thirteen?" say passport man. Behind glass, say, "Awful small for your age, aren't you?"Operative me say, One-three. Hold fingers straight and say repeat, Thirteen.Iron fist of operative me, could be, flash fire explode, pow-bang. Burst bullet glass. Striking Cobra Quick Kill maneuver so collapse passport man windpipe. Render instant quick dead.Tongue of operative me lick, licking, touching back tooth on bottom, molar where planted inside forms cyanide hollow, touching not biting. Not yet. Tooth wet smooth against lick of tongue. Swallow spit, say counting one, two, counting on fingers of hand until six. Tell passport man, to be exchange student with host family six month. Passport man strike paper of book with ink, marked good to enter nation. Slide passport book returned to this agent. Man say, "Welcome to the greatest country on earth." Press button and doors allow way inside United States, accessing target family to harvest.Only one step with foot, operative me to defile security of degenerate American snake nest. Den of evil. Hive of corruption. Host family of operative me waiting, host arms elbow bent to flutter host fingers in attention of this agent. Host family shouting, arms above with wiggling finger.For official record, host father present as vast breathing cow, blowing out putrid stink diet heavy with dead slaughterhouse flesh, bellowing stench of Viagra breath during cow father reach to clasp hand of operative me. From tissue compress rate of father fist, bone-to-cow ratio, host father contain 31.2 percent body fat. Wearing is anchored spring apparatus gripping chest blouse pocket of father, one laminated name badge swinging there, giving name "Donald Cedar," from orange dot code, security level nine. Swipe magnetic strip. American industry typical biological exposure indicate strip, as stripe gray along bottom edge of badge, strip showing no recent exposure.Operative me, am agitating vast fist of cow father, while free hand of this agent reach to acquire security badge.Next now, host cow father say, "Whoa, there, little fella." Say, "No touchy," and father touching badge, tapping laminate card flat against own cow-stinking chest, say, "Top secret." In talk breath of Viagra, reek of Propecia and mint chew gum.Operative me ready. Could be simple two pointed elbows to father's chest, one-two, kam-pow, Flying Eagle maneuver, and three days, by after next today, will father be vomiting both lungs, turned inside out with massive blood, dead. Fast as easy, young child able do.Host mother dig pointed elbow into rib cage of host father, say, "Listen to you, Mister Big Shot."Host mother present as blinking chicken, chin of face bony sharp as beak, chin tucking and swivel to turn, never still, chicken mother say, "Look at you!" Face exploded in silent screaming of wide-open lips and teeth, pointy tongue, eyebrows jumped into chicken forehead. Bony claws of chicken mother, gripping each this agent hands, mother lifts to spread arms too high on top this agent head. Spreading operative me so open, exposed, host mother say, "Look how skinny!"Looped around one bony chicken claw, keys of automobile rattle and swinging. American-type model require 17.1 minute merely so feed gasoline tank full. Keys of host family residence structure. Other automobile keys, crushed between bony chicken claw and hand of operative me. Fingers of this agent close around keys, attempt slip steal begin off from claw.Next now, host mother say, "We need to put some meat on those bones." Host mother claws keys shut inside mother talon. Sweat sweating from pores of mother, a cooking stew smell heavy mixed with cafe iced mocha vanilla combined Zoloft mixed Xanax. Stenched with supplement estrogen. Reek of lanolin out face wrinkle with folic acid pills too many.From tissue flex index of hand, tendon resistance and dermal friction, guessing chicken mother to be 6.3 percent body fat. Blood pressure 182/120. Resting pulse rate 93. Age 42.3 years. Inside six year, easy subject brain stroke dead.Mother and father, host family name "Cedar." Around operative me, make arms. Grope hug.Next then, introduced two host sibling.Host sister push bundle of paper so collide with abdomen of operative me, paper red and constricted with false gold color of synthetic binding tied so make elaborate flowering knot on top. Printed on paper, in English gold letters say, "Happy Birthday.""It's a T-shirt," say host brother, say, "Show some manners." Host brother only pig dog, cradled on both hands, apparatus of black plastic with pig dog dancing thumbs making buttons beep. Black plastic issue noise many tiny explosion. Machine gun report. Host pig dog brother say, "You're not sharing my room, you little turd."On pig dog breath, the stink of Ritalin. The pollution stench of model airplane adhesive and frequent masturbations. Underneath . . . reek of secret blood, latex rubber, and fear sweat. Pig dog face not look up, but blotted one cheek with vast purple bruised. Estimate old 14.5 years. Twitching chicken mother, wagging one finger made straight, host mother say, "Now, don't let's be racist…"Easy fast could be, feet of operative me hitting pig dog, pow-pow, Flying Giant Stork Death Kick, collapse inside of pig dog zygomatic arch, driving bone back direct to spear brain, jab-boom, dead before make next stink breath. For host mother, soon plan dim mak, fatal touch to acupuncture meridian, leave painless instant now dead as mook Joong dummy.For official record, only host sister look rewarding opponent. Host sister, stealth cat. Cat of night, silent but eyeing all happen. Cat sister press red paper bundle on fingers of operative me, host sister say, "I hope it fits."Fingers of operative me cradle package, slick feel of red paper. Pull at fake gold of flowering knot, careful no to tear paper, no to break binding. This agent deconstruct package careful as were delay-ignite Turkish T-155 Panter howitzer shell bomb. Inside, folded black fabric printed white with in letters English writing. Unfold fabric so reveal tunic, wrote across front with "Property of Jesus" on top above shape like fish, like primitive outline caveman fish.Pig dog eyes looking down at apparatus, twitching thumbs pushing beeps, busy and fast, host brother say, "It's a T-shirt, 'tard." Say, "Put it on."Fellow mission operatives, neighboring amid arrival for collect luggage, target host families throw arms around, say, "Group hug." Agent Sasha. Agent Vigor. Accept to grip thread of silver floating bladder, English worded "Welcome to Jesus." Other floating bladder worded "Smile!" Other package covered of paper. Other agents buried in heavy layer American arms. Every American try secret to be sniffing operatives, scrub with small snake eyes for soil or foreign disease germ. Host families with fellow operatives trailing more distant, strolling more distant until disappear out airport doors to where already automobile wait. Horn honking at edge of outside street. All automobile the big of house. Begins here phase one: Operation Havoc.Arms of operative me wrestle black fabric over head, pull fabric down over shoulders, over waist until black hang to knees, past knees. Edge of little sleeve hang to elbow. Word of "Jesus" flap over crotch. Collar big around to circle neck and one shoulder of this agent.Breathing cow father say, "You'll grow into it." Say, stinking fluoride breath, "Here," and hand over fabric rag glued to hang off end of wood stick. American flag little as napkin. White, red, and blue.Fingers of operative me pinch wood stick like stem of stinking weed. Wave stripe flag to fan away reek of host family air. Butter fat stench. Chemical hair soap stink. Such filthy reek American cash money. Hand of vast cow father, hand rise, all finger made straight as for pledge. Lips host father say, "We're not just a family." Say shout, "We're a team!" Same now, host mother flex both leg limbs so able leap, smite own palm against open hand of father, making loud sound of slap hands. Say shout host chicken mother, "Team Cedar!"Begins here delicious tang of host family, thin American blood already salt on hot tongue of operative me. Already is decadent host family flesh tear by operative teeth. Drool of operative me, flooding hunger within mouth making to swallow. Tongue to lick lips of operative me. Drown cyanide molar. Could be crunch of host bones sweet between teeth of this agent. Stomach to growl. Quick them to be screaming out blood, mouth trumpet yawning blood, quick dead. Ultimate vengeance.Label tag inside collar of Jesus tunic, print "Made in China."Label tag along weed stem of American flag, print "Made in China."Operative me not say loud, only say inside this agent head, quote turncoat Hebrew, corrupt genius Robert Oppenheimer, atom bomb father, quote, "I am become as death, the destroyer of worlds." Next then, making agent eyes bright on host target family, mouth of operative design into smile, extra especial wide to show all of many sharp white teeth. Quote, "All the better to eat you with, my dears."Repeat inside head of operative me, quote, "I am become as death…"Chicken mother say, "We'll make an American out of you…" Keys of automobile jangling, beak chin wagging no stop, host mother say, "Or, swear to our Lord almighty God, we are gonna die trying."Dispatch SecondBegins here second account of operative me, agent number 67, on arrival retail product distribution facility of city ___. Outlet number ___. Date  ___. For official record, during American winter youth attend compulsive levels of teaching; during summer, American youth must attend shopping mall.Magic quiet door go sideways, disappear inside wall to open path from outside. Not total all glass, extruded aluminum metal frame silver edge, doors slide gone until reveal inside stand old woman, slave woman appareled with red tunic, spring apparatus gripping tunic front to hang swinging sign, printed, "Doris." Ancient sentinel rest gray cloud eye upon operative me, roll eye from hair and down this agent, say, voice like old parrot, say, "Welcome to Wal-Mart." Say, "May I help you find something?"Mouths of this agent make smile, face design into pleasing eye contact. This agent say, "Much venerate ancient mother... where sold here location China-make 81-S-type gas-operated, rotating-bolt, fire six hundred fifty rounds per minute machine gun?"Face of ancient mummify bound in dying skin, clouded eye only look, no blink.Smile of operative me say, "Revered soon dying mother, distribute you ammunitions correct for Croatia-made forty-five-caliber, long-piston-stroke APS assault rifle?"Smile of operative me, breathing, await.Sag windpipe of ancient parrot, sag skin jump with swallow. Edge smear of red wax slice open as mouth, wax smile melt flat, straight."Brazil-made FA 03 assault rifle?" say this agent, shout, maybe not could hear, shout, "Venerate ancestor, much respected dying soon rotting corpse," shout, "where sell here Slovak SA Vz.58 assault rifle?"Parrot face of dying skin fill with blood glow, red wax of mouth bunch until volcano pucker, tight until skin of pucker mouth pinched white of no blood. Cloud eyes flash electric bolts. Volcano blow open, old parrot voice say, loud shout, saliva erupt to fly, "You'll find our sporting goods on aisle sixteen, young man."Could be, zing-wring, hands of this operative pounce in rapid Bird Wing Gentle Embrace to twist parrot neck, backbone twist-snap, to bring mercy instant soft death.Merely this agent say, "Thank you, much esteemed madam living skeleton." Wish safe quick soon mission into next eternity.For official record, squirrel maze of retail distribution center puzzle of competition warring objects, all improved, all package within fire colors. Area divided into walls constructed from objects, all tinted color so grab eye. All object printed: Love me. Look me. Million speaking objects, begging. Crown American consumer with power of king, to rescue choose and give home or abandon here for expire. Word label blow sharp into ear, loud into eye. Pander hand to take. Dying objects. All here, useful life winding down in clock ticks. Dying objects. Dying buyer. Dying slave woman "Doris." Desperate how sad.Feet of this operative walk bending around corners, through canyon shadowed of objects, all boast best cheap. All most good taste. All objects fight for adopt.Bending around new corner, eyes of operative me witness operative Tibor, agent 23, shoving wheeled silver basket of host family. Around new corner, witness operative Magda, agent 36; host mother eyeing sideways as concealing bright box of object within tunic of that agent to theft. Eye of operative Magda meeting eye contact of this agent.Recent to commence: Operation Havoc.Next then, feet of this operative bending around new corner, witness host brother, pig dog, resting on polish floor. Prone on floor, pig dog face cheek flat pressed on floor, whole body sprawl behind head and neck. Stand over, other new youth, American growing clear-yellow hair to hang hiding ears. Clear-yellow hair hang to hide neck, hang so curtain sides of face while youth rest shoe foot on upside of pig dog face. Clear-yellow youth balance all weight, stand only on face of host brother, clear-yellow youth say, "Hand over the cash, dick-wad…"Face of pig dog, pinched under shoe, flat on top of floor, nose of host brother leak blood and liquid mucus in mix puddle around crack lips. Host brother eyes squeeze shut. Lips of pig dog sputter in puddle, blow blood and juice to say, "Okay . . . okay." Say, "Just let me up."Clear-yellow bully reach hand to behind trouser pocket of pig dog. Slide fingers within and pull until denim fabric cry with threads breaking, until pocket flap hanging like fabric tail. Hands of clear-yellow bully, stomp shoe planted to hold pig dog face into floor, hands apprehend American paper dollars out of leather pocketbook of pig dog. Clear-yellow bully stuff paper in own trouser pocket, throw hollow pocketbook to wing, zing-pow, bounce against face, splashing blood puddle of host brother. Clear-bully look to witness this agent, eyes of bully electric-bolt blue, product fire color blue, to grab eyes of operative me. Bully appareled with black tunic lettered, "John 3:16." Blue denim trouser. Clear-yellow bully say, "What are you looking at, pygmy?" Say, "Beat it!"Eyes of host brother open, look from floor, lips say, "I told you not to follow me…" Eyes zigzag cracked with blood tunnels inside white part.Leather pocketbook spread open on floor, splashed in blood, hollow of dollars. Knees of operative me bend so allow hands of this agent to retrieve.Clear-yellow bully say, “Hey, Cedar, is this your little colored bitch?”Hold pocketbook slippery wet in blood, this agent say, “No pygmy.”Clear-yellow bully, foot stand on cowering pig dog, yellow hair swing across fire blue eye, bully say, “You a gook? A nigger? A sand flea?” Say, “Exactly what breed of wetback bitch are you?”Could be, this instant, elbows of operative me fly and drive fast, wham-pow, to soft corners of head temple, stun brain of yellow bully. Blackout. Foot of this agent stomp down trouser waist of bully to pool around bully feet. Next then turgid weapon of operative me, violate stunned anus, humiliate with seed the forced screaming pain of clear-yellow bully. All dry friction.Clear-yellow bully lift shoe from head of host brother. Fashions face of half smile, says, “Okay, Cedar, you can go fuck your little colored bitch.” Say, “Thanks for the cash.” Shoe of bully step in puddle of blood, and clear-yellow bully print blood in zigzag design of shoe bottom going away, blood design of diagonal traction lines going less red, less clear until feet bend around new product wall corner, gone.Solely remain trail blood steps.Solely witness, peek from terminus product aisle Doris woman cadaver squinting for watch melee. Next now, cadaver scuttle, scurry retreat, vanished.Pig dog lift own self to rest on both elbow against floor. Zigzag engraved, embedded in cheek of host brother face. Dermis patterned dark pink, later red, later purple in shoe traction design. Diagonal many line of purple electric bolts, channels carry water bleed out eyes down, zigzag switchback far as pig dog hand slap water gone.Finger of operative me, made straight to direct eye, this agent say, “Tennis shoe,” at blood design on floor. Next, embed design in cheek.And pig dog brother slap eye water off own face, say, “No, you stupid pygmy . . .” Say, “That’s a fucking track shoe.” Zigzag red and white stripe down cheek, like American flag flutter in wind. Host brother scoop air with hand, say, “Follow me.”Next then, pig dog make operative me small parade until where many million shoe for sell area. Shoe on wall shelf. Pile shoe burden many table. Shoe craft from leather like pocketbook remain inside fingers of operative me, glued this agent with colding blood. Shoe craft from fabric like hanging pocket tail of host brother.Pig dog inhale dripping of nose blood, gurgle, make straight finger at each shoe, say, “That’s a tennis shoe, you little pygmy.” Make finger at new shoe. “That’s a track shoe.” Make finger at other new shoe, one after other, say, “Bowling shoe . . . wrestling shoe . . . basketball shoe . . . cross-training shoe . . . volleyball shoe . . . baseball shoe . . . walking shoe . . . football . . . soccer . . .” Only all shoe make finger at, every shoe appearance alike. All shoe twin. No different.Next then, feet parading around new corner, pig dog discover place many baby animal imprison. Silver cage like wheeled cage shoved by operative Tibor, agent 23, only trap for baby dog, grouping several baby dog. Next new cage, other breed baby dog. Other cage, baby cat. Wall builded cage bricks of baby cat and dog on top and below, all baby animal cry. Stand on silver wire or nest asleep curls of wood. Other wall, cage of baby rodent, many breed rat or mouse. Same as laboratory. Other wall, glass cage of snake and lizard. Heavy in air animal stink, bubble noise out water bin of fire-colored fish.Pig dog brother make finger straight at wall cages, say, “This, pygmy, is what you’d call a fancy restaurant.” Make finger straight at baby dogs and say, “That’s called ‘beef.’ ” Say, “Pick one out, and they kill it and dress it right here. I swear.” Make straight finger at baby cat and say, “That’s pork.” Make finger at rat, lizard, snake, baby rabbit, say, “Chicken . . . veal . . . fish . . . crab . . .”Head of operative me rock own chin up and down to make agreement.“Yum-yum,” say host brother, smiling bruise zigzag face, hand rubbing circle around own belly. Say, “Them’s good eating.” Take back hollow pocketbook.Next then, feet parading around new corner, pig dog discover wall of bottles inside filled gold liquid, clear bottles. Making eyes sideways, both ways fast, host brother twist open top cap of bottle so expose liquid. Pig dog say, “Hold your hands out, pygmy, open side up.”Operative me make hands in front, cupped to ceiling.Pig dog pour gold liquid too deep inside hands of this agent. Gold liquid flooding to splash on floor. Host brother twist cap lid closed over bottle, replace on shelf. Say, “Go ahead, pygmy.” Slap both of own hands, flat open on own bruise face smudging blood there. Say, “Like that.” Say, “It’s called ‘aftershave.’ ”Open hands of operative me splash gold liquid on cheeks of this agent. Mimic to rub liquid around face and neck. Gold sting, smell hot poison, reek to make eyes bleed water, medicine stench scald burn skin of operative me.“Aftershave,” repeat say pig dog brother, say, “Drives the fine ladies wild.”Printed in English letter, word letter black against white label of bottle, English letter spell, “Listerine.”This agent, eye of operative me suffering fire pain, say how in America told all ladies glad liberated to always expose many fragrant vaginas. No ever possess maidenhead. Develop hobby of enjoying many frequent abortion. Always hungering to fashion moist lady mouths tight around gentlemen genital.Pig dog brother merely rest eye on this agent. Eye no blink.Mouth of operative me say, “Is no correct?”Host pig dog say, “I wish . . .” Swinging smudge blood face from side then side, say, “Little pygmy, from your mouth to God’s ear.”Inside head of operative me fashion image of host sister. Sister, cat eyeing all happen. Stealth cat image inflate turgid weapon within trouser of this agent.Next then, feet parading around new corner, pig dog discover door printed English letter word Men. Displayed there outline picture man, two arm, two leg.Pig dog say, “This here’s called a spa.” Make finger straight at door, say, “You go in here, and they got bowls of water set on the floor. The cleanest, freshest water in these United States.” Say, “You only have to kneel down and you can drink all you want.” Pig dog eyes no blink. Mouth no smile. Say, “Go try it. You’ll love the taste.” Host brother hand push “Men” door open to reveal inside walls white tile, floor tile.Only one step with foot, operative me cloaked within smell, reek like baby animal restaurant. Stench of too many sulfur-base amino acid. Diet heavy with dead flesh. Cola soda of sodium benzoate combine citric acid inside intestine to mix benzene until trigger cancer. Reek of cancer bowel. Fecal impacted colon stink.Nose of operative me solitary within spa room, door swing close behind this agent.Several bowl of glazed ceramic hang in row from wall. Metal wall screen several small booth holding water drinking bowl on floor inside each. Rolls paper napkins ready hang from metal wall beside each water bowl, for to wipe mouth. Exact as pig dog teach.Next then, door of one small booth swing open fast to, swish-bang, collide white tile wall behind. Metal door boom open and voice say, “Hey, pygmy . . .” Male voice say, “Yo, little bitch . . .”Clear-yellow hair hanging. Electric-bolt blue eye. Black tunic lettered, “John 3:16.” Blue denim trouser holding pocket of thefted paper money. Clear-yellow bully jerk head, swing eyes from behind yellow hair curtain. Bully say, “You come from one of those dick-mutilation places?” Say, “Whip it out, pygmy.” Say, “Show me what the witch doctor done to you . . .”Flash fire quick instant. Wham-crack. Bone elbows spearpointed sharp bent to soar, Soaring Eagle Double Strike to left-right temple soft spots of bully forehead. Hard hit, zingcrunch, to hammer through layer of yellow hair. Clear-yellow bully to stun, crumple, knees bent, torso collapse topple to white tile floor.Hand of operative me grip back waistband of trouser, luggage bully into metal booth, by waistband handle throw bully face against tile wall to straddle water drinking bowl. Bully blackout asleep. Skeleton bones loose. Head moaning. Knee of operative me bend to plant impact on lower backbone of bully to force back arch, protrude bully anus. Knee bend to stomp foot of this agent down, rip-pow, toe inside back waistband and drop trousers to wrinkle fabric pool around bully ankles. Foot of operative me stamp down inside shorts of clear-yellow bully.Face sideways flat clobber into tile wall, bully blue eye flutter, eye cover skins flicker, blink, flicker, come open. Bully mouth biting sideways into tile say, “What the fuck?”One hand operative me open down own trouser zipper. One hand operative me fingers fold into pointed snake head, dart strike, zip-bam, Mighty Python Smother, to cram into bully mouth, pushing until knuckles of operative me force teeth too wide apart, no bite able, until fingers cork bully windpipe face skin so tint pink, red, more-dark red.Hands of bully scramble claw to remove mouth Python Smother. Bully face full tinting to electric-bolt blue of eye. Face skin blue, eye cover skin flutter, all muscle go tense to starting loose. Starving air, relax. Exposed anus of bully, same smooth of ceramic tile, tinting from pink to blue. Nested in cleavage of pale buttock, blue pucker only remain pinch hard from self-defend.Weapon of operative me sprouted, ready. Turgid. Exposed out zipper. Dripping ready. One hand of operative me cork bully windpipe. One hand pin-cupped back of bully neck so plant face against wall tile, bully blood leak out nose, sliding red stripe from nose down white tile wall. American flag, red and white stripes sliding to tile floor. Blue face, nose folded sideways. Seeing stars. Neck hand of operative me make finger straight to dig nail, sharp shovel into pucker pinch blue anus muscle.All body of bully suffocated, only still seizure every muscle as straight fingernail drill through pucker and pull sideways to stretch open hole. Pry. Force open, dry, all friction, all peel of tender membrane until dripping head of weapon wedge room in twist of muscle.One stroke. Hips of operative me shove full deep, belly deep, ram until bully stand only on foot toes try to escape. Bully mouth scream hot saliva around embedded hand of this agent. Screams trapped, shaking so vibrate whole body inside corked hand of operative me. Fingers cupped, fist grabbed full of scream and blue tongue. Curtain yellow hair drip sweat.Weapon of this agent, stabbing, hollowing blue hole, scraping friction until full drive deep inside whole long of self. Next then retreating to pop free, dripping. Next again, stab full deep. All time, mouth of operative me flogging with English word bitch. Flogging close into cold blue ear, into curtain of clear-yellow hair swinging, flogging, “Bitch” and “Bitch” and “Bitch.”Electric-bolt eyes of bully bleeding water. Blue star of fighting anus leak blood into thin stripes down white legs. Everywhere patriotic. Here so great American nation.Dry drag weapon out blistered blue hole. Paint white stripe seed of operative me, spray-painting thick clots sliding down bully legs. One hand of operative me seize back of black tunic fabric, printed “John 3:16,” to clean weapon of blood, wipe stink of brown fecal, white smear of seed. Abandon tunic mixed mess of stench stained. Abandon own seed. Abandon clear-yellow bully, leg spread, mouth gape to gasp air, anus inside peeled out so protrude. Leaking nasty drip.Final last gesture, fingers of this agent fish leather pocketbook from out behind pocket of bully trouser. Obtain out entire paper money bills. No only pig dog money, all money, numbers and numbers of money. Drop hollow pocketbook between striped bully legs, splash, into water drinking bowl.Gasping voice of bully sob, gargle mucus and saliva, croak so say, “I’m gonna fucking kill you, pygmy.” Sob, cough, sniff and sob. Bully cough blood against tile wall to say, “You hear me, pygmy, you’re already a dead wetback . . .”Mouth of operative me say, quote politic father Karl Marx, quote, “ ‘History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.’ ” This agent wash clean own hands. Exit spa to where pig dog, one foot tapping on floor, arms making folded so cross chest, host brother say, “Geez, pygmy . . . did you fall in?” Remain on face purple electric-bolt stomp pattern. Fabric tail hang between legs.Quote, “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.”Ready hand of operative me reach to give, hand across thick layer of paper bills smear stained blood, fecal, seed, sweat, stinking saliva, a fortune typical American cash money.Dispatch ThirdBegins here third account of operative me, agent number 67, on arrival religion propaganda distribution outlet of city ___. Outpost community ___. Date ___. For official record, if become bankrupt old retail distribution centers — labeled supermega, so-enlarged foodstuff market — later reincarnate to become worship shrine. First sell foodstuff, next then same structure sell battered furnitures, next now born as gymnasium club, next broker flea markets, only at final end of life . . . sell religions.Example here, pig dog brother inform, location where former time heads multiple cabbage mounted to build pyramid pile for marketing display, current now location occupy with fake statue plaster dead male, fake torture dead on two crossed stick, fake blood painted red hand and foot. Worship shrine offer haircut parlor, franchise designer ice creams, Internet computers lab. Feature vast black macadam sea of parking automobile.Location former chew gum, chocolate snack, salted chips of potato, current now occupy with cylinder white paraffin encase burning string, many tiny single fire. Location former bright-color breakfast objects boasting most taste, most little price, recent best vitamins, current now feature bunches severed genitals of rose plants, vagina and penis of daisy and carnation plants, flaunted color and scent of many inviting plant life sex organs.Location former alcohol products provided behind refrigerator glass, only distribute with aged identification, current now instrument of keyboard sounding random notes generated gas forced through bellows, control using hand and foot of venerate living skeleton. Same esteemed madam soon rotting corpse encounter at magic door Wal-Mart.Host vast breathing cow father, make small parade to where living corpse seated to control noise keyboard. Host father say, “Mrs. Lilly?” Say, “I’d like to introduce our new foster son.” Say, “We call him ‘Pygmy.’ ”As custom, feet of operative me step to nearby. Hand extend to accept hand of acclaimed wrinkle cadaver. Mouth wish pleasant passing to become again useful soil.Most respected dying rot mummy rest clouded eye upon this agent. Split red wax of face lips so reveal white prosthetic teeth nested behind, say, “We’ve already met . . .”Next now, this agent charged by advancing male, brandishing with open hand, fingers engaging those of operative me. Man, viper, crushing fingers as coiled around goat for kill and swallow. Shaking arm as dog breaks backbone of rat. Predator male, slaughter arm of this agent, say, “Pleased to meet you, Pygmy.” Say, “I’m Reverend Tony.”Mouths of operative me say, “Happy to engage you, crafty stooge of superstition.”Mouths of operative me say, “How is your health, puppet of Satan?”Worship leader fashion forehead to lift single hair brow arching above eye. Devil Tony preserve smile. Say, “This little young ’un needs to practice his English.”Hand of operative me begin compact fingers of worship leader, to grind, bones collapse, skin muscle press so wring of moisture, squeeze as fabric rag soaked in blood. Could be, with pointed knee, sock-block, explode worship leader rib cage. Could be, crash head into reverend head, butt-bang, contusion brain. Instead, merely this agent say, “Meet repeat soon, please, licking viper of evil.”Worship leader snatch retreat crushed hand, cradle in other own hand. Crushed hand wrung white, leader say, “If you’ll excuse me, we have a new lamb to welcome into our flock this morning.” Cast eye upon this agent, devil Tony say, “If I’m not mistaken, little Pygmy, our new lamb comes from your own colorful native land . . .”Here worship shrine, all male neck must bind around with knotted banner, silk banner knotted at windpipe so dangle two long strands down chest to waistband trouser. All female must shelter head inside hat cover. Location enter accompany breathing cow father, twitching chicken host mother, pig dog brother, and host cat sister. Make small parade until seated long bench.Strategic station, positioned among venomous Christian vipers, seated operative Ling, agent 19; operative Tibor, agent 23; operative Bokara, agent 54; operative Sheena, agent 7. Eyes of all operative, witness, monitor, scrub worship location. Hone sharp fangs. Prepare: Operation Havoc.In distant, behind swinging curtain of clear-yellow hair, purple bruise surrounding both eye, nose folded to sleep sideways against one bruise face cheek — clear-yellow bully electric-bolt blue eye rest on operative me. All muscle stiff from hate. Bully mouths parted one end reveal teeth clench behind. Single front tooth, corner chip.Remain embed on bully face cheek square grid lines of ceramic tile grout.Stealth cat, host sister say, “Poor Trevor.” Sister cast eye on clear-yellow bully, say, “He looks like he was in a car wreck . . .” During host sister rest eye long away to clear-yellow bully, sister vent all gas out lung, single long breathing, shoulder melt, host sister head wilt to one side, hang slanted, cat mouth make smile, say, “Trevor Stonefield is so dreamy . . .” Sister hand lift to touch location own heart muscle.Clear-yellow bully fire blue eye no blink. Muscle spasm clench both corner bully jaw. Blood tunnels descend from jaw, worming thick under skin, swelled, many branch to vanish behind fence of white blouse collar bound around bully neck with knotted silk banner, narrow banner stripe red then blue. Face of clear-yellow bully fill with blood glow. Mouth edges together pinched white of no blood. Arm hang, no bend, only beneath wrist collars of blouse sleeve fingers fisted, also stony white of no blood.Head cover of cat sister, embellish with fake petunia genital craft of fabric. Red color, yellow color. Crowning hair, suggest many ready vaginas. Eye of host sister remaining rest upon clear-yellow bully, remain smile, cat sister say, “I wonder what Trevor’s like in bed . . .”Both shoulder of operative me spasm to rise near ear, make shrugged, say, “Bitch anus rough scabbed too narrow around in scar tissue.”Immediate, cat sister eye rest upon this agent. Sister eye go round, skin of face smooth open, mouth hang until say, “For your information, he’s straight.”For official record, dermis of cat sister indicate harboring full many viable human egg for reproduction of future operative. Within cotton bodice, mammary swell to manufacture diet for many future agent. Judging long strand hair, no break, no dry, no louse, cat sister vector no disease. Pelvis function easily to accept seed, then alternate issue constant offspring. Loins needing much seed.Weapon of operative me moving turgid within trouser of this agent. Scrotum constrict size. Must saliva of operative me swallow.Eye elsewhere location, cat sister say, “Who’s the skank?”This agent follow sister eye through religion peoples, beyond clear-yellow bully and fragrant severed genitals of variety plants life. Ignited threads embedded within cylinder white paraffin, to below crossed wood sticks where hang naked fake male painted fake blood on hands, feet.Cat sister eye rest below fake torture male.Eye of this operative discover that location, standing, mouth tight as fist, eyeing back, operative Magda, agent 36. Electric bolt out Magda brown eye, to attack cat sister.Cat sister say, “You want to talk bitches . . .” Say, “That one looks like she could kill me.”In Magda hands already knotted finger ready Cobra One-Strike No-Blood, bam-slam, inflict cat sister instant dead. More fast most eye able look.For official record, operative Magda sole state designate reproductive coagent operative me. Forever permanent. Extensive chromosome test establish best premium coagent, assigned from birth, only Magda egg to fertilize. Agent 36 egg apportioned legal property solely operative me copulate. Atop vagina of that operative, noble best duty must lifetime fornicate.For official record, during current now, eye of operative me rest on operative Magda. Magda brown eye rest on host cat sister. Sister eye rest on bruised clear-yellow bitch, Trevor Stonefield. Bully eye rest on this agent. Eye of four persons describe rough square within worship shrine.Voice say, break into head of operative me, male voice say, “My, my . . .”Voice worship leader eye cat sister and this agent, devil Tony say, “I do believe that love has found Andy Hardy.” Fashion face of half smile. Blink eye at operative me.Next then shrine filled roaring noise. Bellows powering keyboard instrument tremble atmosphere, fill with location wind noise. Baying out mouths all worship member, wailing, scream word off insides paper book unfolded in hand. Baying cacophony of gaping fish mouth, all gape unison, head tilted backward to rest eye against fake torture male painted blood. Many dog bay at moon. Shrine air fogged many stink breath. Barking. During herd dog bay, all eye on fake moon, fake blood, fake metal spike, fake protrude fake male feet.Eye of operative me look up, look under loincloth where only plaster. No weapon. Plaster no painted. Layer on fake feet blood, old dust. Painted blood out plaster hat cover of sharp sticks, plaster eye bleed water painted blue.Under foot of fake male, bin filled water, big of swim bath. Located there operative Magda appareled gown sewn white fabric. Belted around waist. Feet revealed below gown naked, belted around neck gold chain of metal suspending miniature of fake torture man burdening crossed stick. Cold shark eye of operative Magda rest on this agent. Behind heels of naked feet yawn water bin. Filled deep of clear water. Located front, elevated. Worship leader stance agent 36 to edge of bin, backside to deep water.Worship leader cup both hand in air, patting air until baying stop. Bellowing keyboard stop. “Dear brothers and sisters,” say devil Tony, “we’ve come together on this beautiful Sunday to welcome a shining new lamb into the bosom of Christ.”Among the worship, Magda look at cat sister look at clear-yellow bully look at operative me.Worship leader during say, “As John the Baptist washed clean the sins of Christ, let us also redeem the soul of this pagan child.” During say, devil Tony step out of own shoe. Step foot over lip of bin, immersing own trouser in water. Immersing more deep until water deep lap to own trouser waistband. Leader finger open button own blouse, tuck neck banner inserted between gap placket blouse, weave button fastener returned through hole. Silk banner safe so no fish into water.Face muscle of operative Magda spasm, smooth becoming mountains, canyons, as worship leader hands grab from behind, pull backward to topple agent 36 backward toward water. Could be bam-chop, could be jump, Magda tuck legs, Leaping Kangaroo Punch Escape, pulverize sternum of worship man, leap free of water bin and retreat. Could be, except no. Agent 36 permit hands carry backward down until buried in water. Eyes of agent look up through lens of shifting clear water, look during mouth of worship man move.Waters swallow operative Magda. Agent 36, official womb of future operative.Hands spread to remain agent submerge, worship leader say, “Let us pray . . .”Lungs of operative Magda suffer air starvation.Mouth of worship leader say, “We wash clean this child, born into the bogus faith of a false prophet. The misguided lies of a dead Mohammad or Buddha or Hindi.” Say, “In this immersing, let this child die and be reborn in the name of the one true everlasting Lord.” Say, “Let this death be not in vain, but may this tiny child arise in perfect union with Jesus Christ . . .”From embedded water, read lips of worship leader, ears of operative Magda decipher only, “Dead . . . die . . . death . . .”Is making of agent 36 human sacrifice. Both lung of that agent crave hanker for oxygen.Fellow Christian viper serving all seated upon benches, serving plates heaped many monetary notes. Stinking feast many cash denominations. Plates filled mass legal tender. Seated vipers feeding plates, paper money dollar out pocketbook. Host chicken mother, bony claw gut innards of shoulder purse until retract crumple cash money, feed to hungry plate. Abandon plate to host father. Cow father abandon hungry plate to cat sister.Just as rapid, stealth operative Tibor abscond paper fortune from plate. Operative Chernok secret purloin much lucre.Hand of worship leader shove retain sternum Magda embedded water. Opposite hand of leader flat palm held above own head full-length straight arm, open to inside of roof. Arm made straight at roof, both eye close. Mouthing lip of devil Tony say, “May this tiny child of God perish and be reborn in perfection.”Torso of worship leader tilted over water surface of bin. Legs of leader rooted in water neighboring operative Magda. Leader mouth move, say, “We ask only that this humble child open her heart to the goodness of Your blood . . .”Next then, silk striped banner of worship leader, out tuck from between placket at front of leader blouse. From tuck between buttons, banner flutter, dangle, flop so settle in water liquid, sink snaking spiral into clear water to tickle, lack of air, face of operative Magda. Both hand of that agent erupt out flat water, snatch tight fist around striped banner. Dual arms pull until, flash-splash, topple, embed devil Tony full in liquid. Famish for oxygen.Inside head of operative me echoing English word blood. Echoing dead. Echoing sacrifice.Magda pull wrestle worship leader buried in water, agent 36 seize full wrapped arm and leg. Force leader helpless. Captured, thirsting to inhale.For official record, nest American Christian vipers no able venture into water bin. Only witness, so fast occur. Vipers seated steps below bin level, below fake blood statue, below burning paraffin and bunched genital of plant life. View from vipers, witness leader man sunk into water. Gone. Next then, water splash froth, wash out edge of bin. Next then, water smooth still flat. No bubble. No viper move, only await.Operative Bokara extract of hungry plate rich sum cash money. Operative Oleg deduct stinking fortune capitalist nation dollars.Could be, embed deep, ruthless hand of Magda, pop-pop, make drilling Barracuda Deadly Eye Gouge. Could be teeth, zip-chomp, Piranha Strike, major blood tunnel at windpipe savage chew.Mouth lips of operative me quote glorious tyrant Mao Tsetung, total to admire, quote, “Women hold up half the sky.”Next then, red cloud bloom in water, red billowing in water, more dark red until no clear. Until generate all Christian viper rush to bin edge, no more able witness into water. Opaque red. No wave or bubble or splash. Only devil Tony and agent 36 gone, buried, full below red liquid.Settled full deep against floor of water bin, Magda fisting neck banner of worship leader, hands of that agent grip tight to starve oxygen. Allow leader once time heave up, leaping dolphin, break surface of red liquid, leader eye bulge, mouth devour air. Hands of leader climbing air ladder. White blouse, hair flat down sides face, streaking blood, red.Next now, arms of operative Magda streaked blood jerk leader back to floor of bin.Worship man scream bubble burst from water. Next now, silent.Allow red surface smooth, no bubble. All Christian viper twist together own hands, breathing seized. Surface flat of water bin, full smooth, full red. No more leader splash up.No worship leader able visible. No visible Magda.Christian plate hungry for money, arrive, cat sister abandon plate to pig dog.“Geez, Pygmy,” say pig dog host brother, remain sit, squinting peer over edge of bin. Pig dog hand pinching paper American dollar out own trouser. Host brother say, “Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the baptism font . . .” Host brother hand release cash dollar into money plate, paper bill smear stained fingerprints of blood, reek of Trevor bitch anus, seed of operative me.Next then, cat host sister say, “Gross!” Say, “What is that smell?” Wave hand so clear away air surrounding own nose, blink eye cover skins and fashion squint eye upon operative me.Quote, “Women hold up half the sky.”Host sister say, “Pygmy, did you take a bath in Listerine?”From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

"Darkly comic and satirically savage."
— Toronto Star

From the Hardcover edition.