Sunday, 16 July 2017

Nine Kinds of Naked by Tony Vigorito

Nine Kinds of Naked by Tony Vigorito
First published in America by Mariner Books in October 2008. Audiobook edition narrated by Kristen Kalbli published by ListenUp in December 2014.

Where to buy this book:
Buy from independent booksellers via Alibris
Buy the audiobook from Audible via
Buy the ebook from Kobo
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

How I got this book:
Bought the audio download from Audible

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Do you believe in the butterfly effect? Can the flap of a butterfly's wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Tibet? What if the butterfly happens to be flapping centuries before the tornado stirs? Does the Great White Spot - a twenty-first-century weather anomaly rotating clockwise off the coast of Louisiana - stem from a ninth-century serf untying a knot in a strap of enchanted leather? In the tradition of Tom Robbins and Christopher Moore, and with all the playfulness and prose-poetics that made his "Just a Couple of Days" such an underground phenomenon, Tony Vigorito now turns his visionary gaze to the wonder of synchronicity and the mystery of cause and effect. He takes us on a wild ride through time and space, introducing us to a cast of fascinating characters whose lives are all affected by one breath of wind.

Nine Kinds Of Naked is bizarre! Essentially it's a fantastically surreal tale of chaos theory in the aftermath of a tornado, but with such an incredible array of characters and interconnected events that I was equally as gripped as bewildered for much of the time. My copy was an Audible download brilliantly narrated by Kristin Kalbli. How on earth did she keep a straight face throughout? I was frequently giggling away at the sharp imagery. Tony Vigorito does a great job of imparting the essence of his scenes and makes even the most ridiculous plot twist seem as though this was the obvious and natural course of events. The revisitation of scenes and actions from different viewpoints is cleverly layered and I loved discovering and recognising minor characters as well as cultural references.

There is a strong political message arcing across the story which encourages all the characters to reject our society's debt-ridden commercial culture in favour of a simple life in the present. This really resonated with how I am living right now, especially having recently enjoyed reading No Baggage by Clara Bensen. I did think that the several long philosophical debates espousing this theory in the second half of the book could use heavy editing though. The pace here grinds to a standstill and had I had a paper edition, I would have been flipping past. However, once we get back to the perfectly suited laid-back vibe of New Orleans, Nine Kinds Of Naked takes off again. I loved the character of J J Speed and the wondrous antics of the wind, Bridget Snapdragon is great and I had to pity Dave Wildhack - the toothpicks! I would love for all the factoids, especially the etymology, to be true. Perhaps they are, but I didn't pause to take notes and can't remember enough detail to now go a-Googling, but I frequently found myself in complete agreement. And now I just want to find a dayglo orange frisbee and Walk Away.

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Tony Vigorito / Fantasy fiction / Books from America

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