Tag Archives: andrew mayhem

Laughing At Pain: Jeff Strand

Sometimes I need a good laugh. Thank God for the internet because a good laugh is rarely more than a click away. “Good” is entirely subjective and I understand that and I also understand that not everybody gets my humor. Cool. Different strokes and all that. So I’m just talking to those people who enjoy sick humor. The kind that has you snorting milk through your nose, then you feel a twinge of embarrassment over laughing because that is some nasty stuff. It’s not nice to laugh about other peoples pain. Right?

Fine. I’m not nice.

So if you’re a nice person who likes your humor clean, go watch this: Cute Kittens Video.

The rest of you sick twists, let me tell you about Jeff Strand.

Strand has written a series about a fellow aptly named Andrew Mayhem.

First book, Graverobbers Wanted (No Experience Necessary) we meet Andrew, a bumbling goof who can’t quite get the hang of gainful employment, though he has good intentions leaking from his pores. Long-suffering wife, Helen, is losing her patience, and Andrew’s children are at that impressionable stage where they are making up their minds whether or not Dad is a good role model. (a terrifying prospect for any parent)

When Andrew is offered a job– dig up a grave and retrieve a key from the corpse– he, unlike a normal human being who’d say, “No way! I’m no ghoul!” actually weighs the pros and cons.

No, no, what was I thinking? This was graverobbing! This was ghoulish behavior! This was sick, sick, sick! This could put me in jail or in an asylum. The best thing–no, the only thing–to do was tell Jennifer we were flattered she’d thought of us to fulfill her disinterment needs, but that we had to pass.

“Twenty thousand cash?” I asked.

What follows is live burial, decapitations, snuff films, betrayals, twists, power tools, explosions, Rube Goldberg murder machines and the difficulties of finding a last minute babysitter. Not that any of that is funny. What’s funny is Andrew.

“Look, I assure you that your whole intimidation thing has been a rousing success! I’m scared! I’ll play along with your little game to keep you from slamming that knife through my neck! But you’ve got to give me some kind of proof that Roger is still alive.”

I let out a grunt of pain as my captor punched me in the face.

“That wasn’t proof,” I explained.

Which leads to book #2 in the series, Single White Psychopath Seeks Same. You will know you have a sick sense of humor if you can’t resist the opening paragraph:

Sometimes you wake up in the morning and you just know it’s going to be the kind of day where you end up tied to a chair in a filthy garage while a pair of tooth-deprived lunatics torment you with a chainsaw. So as I struggled against the ropes, I can’t say I was all that surprised.

How Andrew manages to escape the ropes, lunatics and chainsaw you’ll have to read for yourself. If you think that’s bad, it gets worse. Much worse. Andrew impersonates a psychotic serial killer and ends up trapped in a madhouse in Alaska with a whole bunch of psychotic serial killers and a dungeon full of potential victims. And yes, there are decapitations, power tools, torture, live burial, Rube Goldberg murder machines, rotting corpses, and clowns. Icky, scary clowns. Snakes, too, in case you’re worried your particular phobia isn’t covered. In the midst of all that, poor Andrew has to deal with someone who’s an even bigger bumbler than he is.

I haven’t yet read the third book in the series, Casket For Sale (Only Used Once), but it’s on my Kindle. I’m saving it for when I need a boost of sick humor.

 

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It Takes So Little To Make Me Happy

I read the first book in Jeff Strand’s Andrew Mayhem series this weekend. Laugh, cringe, laugh, cringe, laugh some more, cringe some more. In other words, lots of fun. As soon as I finished, I wanted more, so I popped over to Amazon to buy #2 and #3 in the series. And as soon as Download Complete appeared on my Kindle, I’m like, What is the hell is wrong with you? Just how many ebooks do you need in the queue? Have you no self-control whatsoever?

Shees.

So then, this morning I got an email from Lawrence Block informing me that all his Open Road ebooks are on sale for today only. One day? Oh crap. So of course I had to pop right over to Amazon. Three minutes later, seven titles are off my wish list and loaded on my Kindle.

I am such a slut.

Greedy Gus.

Book whore.

But wait just a minute. For less than the cost of dinner and a movie, I have nine new books to read. Unlike dinner and a movie which will be over and done with in about four hours and mostly forgotten within a day or two (Unless the movies were either Seven or Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace, both of which I bitched about for weeks and can still get riled up about years later for offending me so greatly with such stupid plots).

Here’s the thing about books, especially genre fiction. The vast majority are temporary entertainment. I can enjoy a few hours lost in somebody else’s world and maybe learn a thing or two along the way. There are a few that stick. A few that matter for whatever reason. I have some books, now tattered and soft, the spines a mass of crinkles and broken paper, because I’ve read them over and over. Those books offer more than pleasure or information. They speak to me. They feel like old friends and we have a connection.

Since I was old enough to speak, I’ve been a story addict. I’ve had lots of interests in my life and a few passions and one or two obsessions (or to hear the old man tell it, “Your OCD acting up again?”) Those come and go. Except for stories. My passion, even my obsession for stories has never died.

Give me a book and a few hours of quiet and I am happy. Tell me a story and I am happy. I’m convinced that if a tornado roared through the neighborhood and flattened my house and swept away all I own, the only possessions I would truly miss would be my books. Even then I wouldn’t be too depressed because even if the books are gone, the stories remain and I can find them again.

They say money can’t buy happiness. Oh yeah? Well $25 just added another page and a half to my Kindle home page. That makes me very happy.

 

 

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