Duck Duck Wally: A Novel by Gabe Rotter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
"That's a tasty beverage." This famous phrase from "Pulp Fiction" appears twice in Gabe Rotter's "Duck Duck Wally", which is quite a "tasty novel". The first half of the book is absolutely captivating and extremely funny.
I love the book for its sheer audacity of premise. An awkward Jewish man, meek and easily scared (to the point of wetting himself when confronted with a powerful opponent), works as a ghost author of "lyrics" for the world's most famous rap artist. All the gangsta rhymes sung by the rapper are penned by Wally Moscowitz, who in his private time is an aspiring author of very naughty children poetry books designed for adults.
Mr. Moscowitz trouble begins when he urinates on a badass gangster in a public lavatory (Coen brothers' wonderful "The Big Lebowski" comes to mind). The little incident unleashes an avalanche of consequences that include multiple murders and nationwide fascination with the case.
The passage about the genital herpes commercial is one of the most hilarious fragments of prose I have ever read. What's more, not only is it very funny, it is also pretty incisive in showing how deeply biased, prejudiced, and just plain stupid we, the humans, are, when we confuse the unreality of TV with the reality of life.
The plot sags quite substantially in its second half and the novel becomes pedestrian and boring when slowly inching toward the denouement. Still, with its utterly audacious (and wonderfully politically incorrect) premise and its magnificent genital herpes bit, I am unable to rate this book lower than
View all my reviews