5.0 out of 5 stars A promised wild ride for the intellect and invitation to sensory overload. July 2, 2014
At the intersection of Sarge's The Hall of the Mountain King, Rachel Grossman's "Scrollage" Avenida and Lindsy Charrish's SolarPlexusville, the unsuspecting reader encounters NATURE BOY'S protagonist Skye Pelter in a novel which is a stylistic
cross between Tom Robbins, Kerouac, and Wes Anderson at their finest. Be prepared for a wild and woolly romp through the hallucinogenic, eccentric, thought-provoking, and downright brilliant creative consciousness of Skye, art and opera critic, judge of the country's most widely-acclaimed writing competition, and all-round Renaissance Man.
One doesn't read NATURE BOY so much as inhabit a rarefied, ingenious, mind-blowing parallel universe populated by some of the most colorful, unique and gifted characters to ever grace the pages of a novel. In short, take a deep, cleansing breath for you are about to mesmerized by postmodernist writing at its glitziest, and immersed in a depth of connection with a struggling young artist named Rachel who will literally leave you sobbing, regardless of your gender, simply by bearing witness to the twists and turns of her fate. She is a truly tragic heroine guaranteed to haunt your psyche in the same way classic actresses of the silver screen, characters in skilfully constructed novels and famous operatic stars of all eras tend to do.
The flawless, sharply wrought descriptions of Rachel Wasserman's 23 foot-long "scrollage" alone is worth the price of admission. Michael J. Vaughn writes with a wit, tenderness, cerebral intensity and outright raunchy humor which fast becomes addictive. There are so many worthwhile expressions, or Pelterisms, Vaughn could devote an entire compilation to them all by themselves and I'd be first in line to purchase it. For instance, when through an odd series of circumstances, he becomes a millionaire overnight, he refers to his newly-conferred status among women, women notoriously characterized by their callous past spurning of his advances, in the following terms. He states, "They appear by the dozens in his email inbox, on his Facebook page, like ads for erectile dysfunction."
NATURE BOY is a carefully crafted novel interwoven with hilarity and unabashed truth-telling that plumbs the depths of our humanity and scours the soul in mid-howl, laugh, and gut-wrenching sob. Vaughn manages to integrate all these emotions and insights in a seamless, distinctive fashion while steering clear of mawkish sentimentality. The lyrics to NATURE BOY reinforce Skye's journey, "The greatest thing you'll ever learn/Is just to love and be loved in return."