Saturday, August 10, 2013

Friday Fiction: When Pigs Fly . . .

Summer time. Some years all those fantasies come true. Endless blue skies. Beach blanket with book.

Not this year.

But I did find a fine summer read: When Pigs Fly by Bob Sanchez.

Imagine John Kennedy Toole's Confederacy of Dunces goes to the Southwest.

An amazing mix of ribald, raucous and raunchy characters -- including a javelina and one bad guy nicknamed Diet Cola -- pursue the American dream, while our hero, retired police officer Mack Durgin, complete with dotty and doting parents, tries to honor the ashes of a dear friend.

Mack's quest truly begins at The Snake in the Grass, a cheap bar, where Mack confronts his melancholy over his wife's death by drinking himself to oblivion and awakening with a missing wallet, a hammering headache, and a memory of a woman with unbelievable breasts.

If the plot were only funny and fantastical, that would be enough. But Sanchez, with his vivid description, brings an astonishing diverse cast of characters to life, each character endearing in his or her very unique way. It's also clear that Sanchez loves the desert. His skill in crafting description leads to sheer reading pleasure. One example as two shady types case a small bungalow: "Its gray shingles were all curled up and covered with pine needles, and its gray cupboard siding looked like somebody hit it with a hammer in eleventy-two places."

When Pigs Fly
available at Amazon
No plot spoilers here. Sanchez gives us a story that entertains as we follow the whimsical adventures of characters who seemingly have nothing in common. As his engaging crew of characters gather at the overlook to the Grand Canyon after a cross-country romp, Sanchez redefines a comic misadventure with sympathy and authentic caring for the dreams we share about love, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

When Pigs Fly.   Perfect for the beach.

Star rating:  4.5 out of 5.