Review: Exploding Bears: A Savage Comedy by Frank J. Edler

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Buy here: Godless, Amazon

Synopsis:

Welcome to Wyld Louie’s Exploding Bears Experience where every hour, on the hour, you can witness one of Wyld Louie’s genuine, one-of-a-kind Exploding Bears blow up right before your very eyes! 

MARVEL at the awesome power of a bear detonating into thousands of pieces.

RELISH the opportunity to be impaled with fragments of an exploded bear carcass.

TASTE a genuine, strawberry-flavored, beaver butt at Wyld Louie’s Petting Zoo.

ENJOY the hospitality of Wyld Louie’s courteous and friendly staff.

CHERISH the memories you’ll leave with for a lifetime, including the bear claw impaled in your skull.

Spend the day at Wyld Louie’s Exploding Bear Experience and have a Dynamite Time!

Review:

When I think back to the experience of reading Exploding Bears: A Savage Comedy, I cannot help but hark back to all of the classic literature I have read in my life. Exploding Bears is almost the same length as Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, with a main character, Wyld Louie, who has the same ambitions for success as the characters in The Great Gatsby. A Hemingway influence can be from blowing things up like in For Whom The Bells Toll (where it is bears instead of bridges), or maybe A Farewell to Arms. The biggest parallel to Frank J Elder’s book and classic literature is of course James Joyce. With Exploding Bears: A Savage Comedy we have a story told mostly in one day, like Ulysses, but there are also puns and invented language (particularly when the employees are doing mushrooms they found growing behind the outhouses) like in Finnigan’s Wake. Is Frank J. Elder the leader of a renaissance of literature, turning back the clock and reinventing all of those boring books by adding exploding bears and ass-licking characters? It is very possible.

Wyld Louie’s Exploding Bears Experience is started by a man with a dream. The dream is to watch bears explode and to make as much money as possible off of it. Throughout the day Wyld Louie runs into the normal rigors of owning a bear exploding theme park, but this is a day that will change Wyld Louie’s park and Wyld Louie himself by sunset. He entertains the crowds with exploding bears, but also a petting zoo where people line up to lick a beaver’s anus because it tastes like strawberries (which the truth is the goo that comes from a beaver’s anus tastes like vanilla and is sometimes used in artificial vanilla extract. Enjoy!) While the customers come in and out, Wyld Louie needs to keep the park stocked with bears to explode, all of the customers happy, and of course turn a profit. 


Part classic literature, part business study, part exploding fucking bears, the entire novella is fantastically funny and entertaining. I know Frank J Edler by listening to his podcast Bizzong! for the past couple of years. He ended the podcast in January to focus more on his family and his writing. If he is exchanging his podcast to write stories as good and funny as this, we can see it as a fair trade. I have made a few of my reading friends buy and read Exploding Bears: A Savage Comedy with me because this really is an experience that I could not keep to myself. If you have a few hours to spend reading, I recommend this much higher than Finnigan’s Wake.

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