Chris Elliot is a riot. I’ve enjoyed his short-lived show Get A Life on Fox during the early 90s and loved Cabin Boy. Some find his humour … well more to be desired, whilst those of us that are easily amused think his humour is the dog’s bollocks (or excellent). So when I came across Shroud of the Twacker in the stacks, I was somewhat puzzled because I didn’t know Chris Elliot (THE Chris Elliot) had decided to put his wit to paper … in novel format. Of course, turning to the back and seeing him with Cheshire grin … well. So my curiosity got the best of me and I was not disappointed.
The story is narrated by a detective called Caleb in 1800s New York City on the hunt for a serial killer called the Jolly Thwacker that has a penchant for killing prostitutes. Sounds familiar. Yes, it is basically a parody of the Jack the Ripper situation from across the pond. But that’s just the half of it. Throw in a randy Teddy Roosevelt, time traveling, and Yoko Ono (yes you heard me on that one, THE Yoko Ono) and you’ve got a recipe for laughter and the possibility for pissing yourself silly. Caution if you are easily amused, don’t drink too much liquids and read this book. Seriously, it is painful, especially when you’re stuck on a slow moving, very crowed MTA bus and every bump in the road amplifies that need to void your bladder. Too much information, maybe? Why yes, I fear I have detoured. Even worse, the book hits hilarious highs as Chris Elliot breaks character as the narrating detective and gets into banters with the reader. Yes, he actually starts conversations with the readers. And it is the funniest stuff you can stumble upon. The funny thing is that as you read the novel, those of us that are familiar with Mr. Elliot, you basically hear his voice narrating the whole thing. Or maybe that’s just me. No, really, you sort of hear his voice doing the narration … and this puts everything into a new humourous stratosphere. Another caution: avoid reading this in public for if you are easily amused you will find yourself giggling like a little girl. Or bursting out into sidesplitting guffaws, that will make others wonder if some nice afternoons with electro-therapy, in a nice sterile building complete with padded comforts, would do you the world of wonderful good. Ah Chris Elliot, you wonderfully funny bastard.
Twacker is a magnificent, hilarious read and it seems as if Elliot has found his niche in writing comical prose.