Monday, July 23, 2012

Review: The Sugar Frosted Nutsack by Mark Leyner

The Sugar Frosted Nutsack
Title: The Sugar Frosted Nutsack
Author: Mark Leyner
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Published: March 26 2012
Format: Hardcover
Source: Won from Goodreads
First Reads
Read: July 17-23
In A Few Words: Utterly ridiculous and bizarre
My rating: 1 star

Goodreads  Snyopsis: High above the bustling streets of Dubai, in the world's tallest and most luxurious skyscraper, reside the gods and goddesses of the modern world. Since they emerged 14 billion years ago from a bus blaring a tune remarkably similar to the Mister Softee jingle, they've wreaked mischief and havoc on mankind. Unable to control their jealousies, the gods have splintered into several factions, led by the immortal enemies XOXO, Shanice, La Felina, Fast-Cooking Ali, and Mogul Magoo. Ike Karton, an unemployed butcher from New Jersey, is their current obsession.

Ritualistically recited by a cast of drug-addled bards, THE SUGAR FROSTED NUTSACK is Ike's epic story. A raucous tale of gods and men confronting lust, ambition, death, and the eternal verities, it is a wildly fun, wickedly fast gambol through the unmapped corridors of the imagination.

Melissa's Musings:

I don't even know how to begin this review. First off, let me tell you that this book is one of the most ridiculous, pointless things I have ever read.

The first thirty pages talk over and over about various gods who are in charge of random things, like chicken tenders and fibromyalgia, and who are all in some sort of weird lust competition with each other. Honestly, I don't know why I even kept going beyond the first 30 pages.

As you read, you learn about XOXO another god, who secretly is trying to sabotage this whole epic story, by inscribing on your brain whatever it is that he wants you to know. (Where the epic of it is, I honestly don't know. I'm not being snide or snarky here either, it's just the fact that this 'story' makes no sense.)

The story then gets into the background of Ike Karton, a strange man from New Jersey, who already knows that he's going to be assassinated in a week's time by some secret militant group.

Honestly, I don't even know what to say about this. It resembles the ramblings of a highly schizophrenic person. If not that then another way I could describe it would be to say that maybe it's someone on a bad acid trip or something. The main character Ike, smokes highly potent gravy, (not a code word for drugs here, it's actually described as normal brown gravy) throughout the book, so the bad trip theory is at least feasible.

I don't know if the author was trying to be somehow philosophical or deep with all of this mumbo jumbo and these random references, and just failed miserably, or if it was just supposed to be funny. Also a big fail there, by the way.

 It's described in weird  fits and starts that really make no sense and seem to have no real connection to each other. There's A LOT  of name dropping, particularly famous name dropping. There's probably well over 100 famous people mentioned.  Since Ike has a list of celebrities that he hates, maybe this is the authors personal celebrity dislike list?

The fact that the book is so repetitive really made me want to bang my head against the wall. I put this down several times because I just couldn't take the nonsense. I would give you an example, but I don't even want to open this book and read any of it again, it's that strange. Just trust me when I say it'll give you a headache.

One of the definitions of insanity is : a foolish or senseless, action, statement, policy, etc. Let me tell you this book is full of insane statements. Some people say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. In this case it would be reading the same thing over and over and expecting something different to happen the next time you read it. Maybe that means I'm insane for reading this book, I don't know.

This book only made me laugh once. And the joke wasn't even all that funny. I won't ruin it, but I will tell you that it has to do with Dick Van Dyke.

At this point you're probably wondering why I even finished the book. For one, I hate not finishing books. For another thing, I was really hoping this book would redeem itself somehow. Maybe there would be some deeper meaning, some lesson to be taken away from it. (If there was one, I didn't find it.)

Plus, I'd never read anything by Mark Leyner before, and I heard he's really funny. But, I guess his sense of humor is the kind that you "just get" or you don't. It appears that I'm in the "don't get it" group. I might try another one of his books at some point in the future but that won't be anytime soon.

That's what I get for picking the books with the quirky titles I guess.

I'd recommend this to anyone who's looking for a challenge, or who might like a lot of random name dropping in their books. Just a warning to anyone who might read this, there's some language that might be offensive and a lot of sexual references.

Has anybody else out there read this? If so what did you think of it?


Anonymous said...

Really good review!

The summary is uninteresting to me and your review has made me skeptical haha. So I won't be reading this book anytime soon!

emaginette said...


Melissa said...

Thanks! Sorry that my review made you skeptical about it.

@Emaginette: I suppose this was a bit of a harsh review, but it's honest at least.

Anonymous said...

Ah, that's a shame that you wasted your time on it. I know what you mean though, I CANNOT not-finish books - I don't mind skimming through them, but once I've started, I need to know what happens. I put it down to my natural curiosity, my Dad says it's because I'm nosy.
Have you read any other reviews of it to see if it is a sorry-it's-not-your-humour-it's-mine or if it really does just suck?

Melissa said...


I don't know why, but I've never really been a skimmer with books for pleasure. Textbooks sometimes, but not other books.

The other reviews are about half and half between the more negative ones. About half are similar to mine in the "What the hell is going on here?" type of way. The other half are more general this just wasn't my humor type. Then there are the people who rave about it and love it of course.

I was glad to see I wasn't the only one who had such confused feelings about it.