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By Billy Medicine as edited by Leo X. Robertson
Cardboard Wall Empire
Reviewed by Jason Pettus
It's hard to decide just how to critically sum up a book like the unfortunately titled novel Saxual Healing, because author Leo X. Robertson tries to have it both ways here: it starts with a long and interesting introduction in which Robertson lays out the fictional premise of the supposedly nonfiction book, in which an acquaintance of his in high school turned out later in life to be transgressively queer and a bit of a dick to everyone about it, penning a series of Kathy-Ackeresque absurdist journal entries about such subjects as the crushes he developed when younger and his sexual exploits as an adult, never meant for public consumption but now "published" exactly for that purpose, all of which was really fascinating and held my rapt attention; but then the 200 pages after that introduction are the actual absurdist transgressive queer journal entries in question, which are exactly as tedious and difficult to get through as you would imagine such writing to be. And there's the problem in a nutshell -- the premise is riveting, but Robertson clearly means for that to just be a framing device for the stream-of-consciousness nonsense that comes after, while the stream-of-consciousness nonsense that he means to be the main focus of the book is hardly worth one's time (except for those of you who already like bizarro literature, that is, who will find it not great but at least tolerable). So I guess I will give this a middle-of-the-road score in order to even things out, but with the warning that the number itself in this case means little. Not a terrible disaster, but certainly meant for just a limited audience of true believers, you'd do well to keep all of this in mind before picking up a copy yourself.
Out of 10: 7.5