A down-on-his-luck taxidermist joins a medical study, where scholarly information is downloaded into his brain. He returns home determined to win back his wife and hunt down Hogzilla, a giant feral pig with wings who has escaped from a different medical facility and is terrorizing the town. But are the scientists still tracking Romie while he tracks Hogzilla? Author Julia Elliott is awesome, and readers will cheer on both Romie and Hogzilla and then Google the author to discover her other books and her cool band.
— Jess Pane, Greenlight Bookstore [686 Fulton St. between S. Elliott Place and S. Portland Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 246–0200, www.greenl
Word’s pick: “Gonzo Girl” by Cheryl Della Pietra
This novel was inspired by the author’s experiences as former live-in assistant to Hunter S. Thompson. Recent college graduate Alley “Cat” moves in as assistant to infamous author, drug user, and gun fanatic, Walker Reade, in hopes that he can get her manuscript recognized. There are high points, but the dismal lows cause Alley to question how much she can stand before giving up a position that might lead to her big break as an author.
— Kristina Kauffman, Word [126 Franklin St. at Milton Street in Greenpoint, (718) 383–0096, www.wordbr
Community Bookstore’s pick: “The Folly,” by Ivan Vladislavić
Perhaps the best South African writer after J.M. Coetzee is the great Ivan Vladislavić, whose 1993 debut novel is now available in the US for the first time. The book sits in a hazy area between allegory and parable, made all the more startling for its hyper-real, near-tangible sentences. It follows a mysterious stranger who appears on the veldt. Determined to build a mansion out of scraps on the vacant patch, he casts a spell over his neighbor, who is soon obsessed with completing the house. This sly, slippery novel about apartheid is a fantastic introduction to a writer we will all be hearing a great deal more of, thanks to Archipelago Books.
— Hal Hlavinka, Community Bookstore [43 Seventh Ave. between Carroll Street and Garfield Place in Park Slope, (718) 783–3075, www.commun