The Sensationally Absurd Life and Times of Slim Dyson by Brandon Meyers and Bryan Pedas, A Novel, by local authors Brandon Meyers and Bryan Pedas, already popular as co-creators of the webcomic, A Beer for the Shower, is available online and at local bookstores, including Mutiny Information Café, along with several other of their works, coauthored and written separately. Check their Amazon page.
In Life and Times, Meyers and Pedas have successfully modernized the myth shared by Voltaire’s Candide and Parsidfal “the perfect fool,” of boundless optimism despite what seems to others a poverty stricken or unacceptably desperate existence, staying no living at the Denver Rescue Mission with cronies like Stringbean Johnson and Riverwalk Kenny, meanwhile hard at work on a time travel/space opera novel that will likely never see print entitled Genghis Khan’s Mongolian Starship. This last touch brings to mind Arturo Bandini’s Life of a Stevedore project in John Fante’s The Road to Los Angeles (inspired in his case by the main character of Knut Hamsun’s Hunger attempting an implausible treatise entitled Crimes of the Future). By their own account, Meyers and Pedas have not read Hunger, but they have read The Road to los Angeles, and that’s the whole reason I read Hunger in the first place, which gives me the feeling we share a few tiouchstones. As Billy Childish did for London in his Notebooks of a Naked Youth, Meyers and Pedas have done the Mile High City a boon by restoring its literary character with considerable grace and style. The words are full of jump and zing. “Not many people get the chance to say they spent the day with a bona fide movie star. But that’s precisely what I was doing. And I was having a lot of fun. I even learned new things. For example, Rex Piston, star of over two dozen blockbuster action films, is just a normal person. There’s nothing special about him. He’s just like you or me. Except his jaw looks like it’s made of chiseled marble and his arms could bend a Volkswagen.”
Slim Dyson is a self made superhero in a consumerist world that considers him worthless. Even after his journal (not even the khan masterwork) is lifted by an opportunistic producer type LaRoux and becomes such a viral sensation online that a film ostensibly inspired by it is made, even after being confronted with inhuman lawyers like Noble Preston and incoherent ones like Nick Spradley, Dyson still prefers a D.I.Y. mud bath under a bridge on Speer Blvd., amused that people pay so much for spas, and feels comically outsized by the mansions and unmoved erstwhile luxuries enabled by his sudden fame. Fans of A Beer for the Shower will already be familiar with certain characters in this one, excerpts having been featured there for some time. Slim Dyson himself and his crew from the shelter will be familiar, as will the treacherous but ultimately harmless Amelia and Monteclare or Monty, and Slim’s blind angel, Emmy. Together, Meyers and Pedas have written an engaging book of such momentum that this reporter got through it in two or three days. It’s such an enjoyable book some readers may be disappointed by the abruptness of its ending, as Slim decides that helping others is his joy, not getting anything away from them, embarking on a brand new fulfilling giveaway program for his fellow people, happy in his dumb luck, but this, too, is as it should be, recalling the protagonist’s sudden departure by ocean liner at Hunger’s conclusion, and the terse last lines of certain epic poems. To the point, leaving nothing unsaid.