Reviews > Published on May 27th, 2014

Bookshots: "The Galaxy Club" by Brendan Connell

Bookshots: Pumping new life into the corpse of the book review


The Galaxy Club

Who wrote it?

If you can stand random bouts of meaningless poeticism, detours into the inner workings of sea creature royal courts, and dusty southwestern cliches, you might wind up really enjoying 'The Galaxy Club'.

Brendan Connell, author of several other weird books, apparently.

Plot in a box:

If this book is anything, it is outside the box. So far as I can tell, though, a hitchhiker shows up in this bizarre mystical New Mexico town where fish wage wars against little boys and friends routinely kill each other and strangers are straight up crucified, literally. Oh, and every chapter is told from a different character's perspective.

Invent a new title for this book:


Read this if you liked:

Spoon River Anthology while you were tripping acid; Our Town while you were tripping acid; anything by Harry Mathews.

Meet the book's lead(s):

Cleopatra, an unlucky alcoholic hitchhiker (he's a dude); Blue Boy Montoya, a little turd of a kid who enjoys killing animals; sundry other insane/possibly mystical villagers.

Said lead(s) would be portrayed in a movie by:

There are so many random characters in this book, and each gets more or less equal billing in the "narrative," so really just pick any group of humans you'd like to see in a movie together and that's your cast. Just make sure to rough them up a bit and get them nice and trashy first.

Setting: Would you want to live there?

Oh hell no. I mentioned this all takes place in New Mexico, right? And the crucifixion?

What was your favorite sentence?

I came out of some universal weeping, some crying and screams and rose tall my hair shooting off in every direction light and clouds wrapping around me putting their ears against my flesh listening to my heart as it thundered my hands going up to the roots of the stars my feet to the emptiness of the earth some mathematic mystery singing broke out everywhere but that was long ago when the rocks still had mouths the sea hissed with steam the sky a fibrous net some cosmic jubilation dazed as I came into being bended this way and sideways muscles covering gorges mountains my chest soaked in something oh it was night laying on the waves of tar or warm fragile nothingness oh it was night.

The Verdict:

Good heavens, where do I even begin? This book is weird, genuinely bizarre. It takes a little while to get into because it's so all over the place and randomly poetic and then slightly mythical but also really trashy and desert hot and a bit mysterious and "What the hell is even going on here?" and "Wait, did they just crucify that guy?" and "Why is this fish talking?" and questions questions questions. The vast majority of readers are going to be annoyed and perplexed and will probably not have the patience to trudge through this nonsense.

However, there are a few of you out there—and I think you know who you are—who will absolutely LOVE this book. It's so insanely ridiculous, so freakishly absurd, that I couldn't help but be dragged along following what passes for a plot. Although the pov changes aren't the smoothest, I'm a sucker for rotating perspectives, and I'm sure I'm not alone in that respect. Basically, regardles of whether it's good, bad, or whatever, this book is different, which is always a plus for me. If you can stand random bouts of meaningless poeticism, detours into the inner workings of sea creature royal courts, and dusty southwestern cliches, you might wind up really enjoying The Galaxy Club. If nothing else, you're going to have a hell of a fun time trying to figure out what on earth is going on with these psychos.

About the author

Brian McGackin is the author of BROETRY (Quirk Books, 2011). He has a BA from Emerson College in Something Completely Unrelated To His Life Right Now, and a Masters in Poetry from USC. He enjoys Guinness, comic books, and Bruce Willis movies.

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