Conversations with Larry Xenomorph - Jay Cole

This is easily the weirdest, most surreal & funniest book I've read so far this year. The challenge is writing a review that doesn't give the game away.

 

It all begins when Tony, a high flying Wall St. trader, has a really bad day. One minute he's in the thick of normal office chaos and the next....well, he's "invited" to stay in his very own padded cell for the next 30 days while they complete the psychiatric evaluation. Seems he took a midday stroll across the trading floor buck nekkid.

Of course, it's not his fault. It's Larry's. He explains to the lovely Dr. B. that he's being stalked by an alien (Larry) who regularly transports him to a spaceship. Larry is working on his thesis & has a million questions about life on earth. Quite frankly, Tony's getting a little tired of these interruptions & is REALLY over being zapped home again without his clothes. Surely she can understand how frustrating this is. 

Uh, yeah...not so much.

 

For the next 30 days while Tony is a guest of the state, we get to hear about his interviews with Larry & meet the other residents. This is the heart of the story. Yes, they are all certifiable with more tics than you shake a stick at. But as Tony (and the reader) gets to know them, we discover characters that were shaped by some pivotal event in their lives. Their behaviour ranges from bizarre & hilarious to deeply poignant. None of these people are caricatures. The author treats them with respect & as the days go by, we become just as attached to them as Tony.

Of course, the big question is the state of Tony's sanity & I won't tip the beans as far as his treatment is concerned. But while you're trying to figure that out, you get to enjoy a running commentary on his surroundings & perhaps reevaluate how you define "crazy".