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Escher Smallwater can t sleep in That s the least of his problems Two years shy of thirty and recently laid off from his job in advertising, Escher has a lot to deal with in his life right now Forced to make some changes since losing his job, his lifestyle is gone and suddenly the American Dream seemslike a nightmare As Corporate Charlie bares his darker side by way of recessions and hiring freezes, Escher has found himself withtime to reassess his life, and he s mad as hell He will never be a rock star or date a supermodel He doesn t get carded at bars any, teenagers now think of him as creepy, and he prefers VH1 over MTV He s never been in love, his career path has essentially disappeared and somehow, he and his neighbors have inadvertently become the drug kingpins of St Louis A life once filled with Ikea catalogs and cubicles now consist of consumer guerillaism, lesbian strippers and a gold toothed thug named Mo Mo All this and an impending high school reunion Maintaining a sense of humor while exploring the darker side of contemporary culture, Rorschach s Ribs explores what happens when the first generation destined to do worse than their parents grows old and starts questioning the American Dream Through an eccentric, colorful cast of characters and a sharp cynical wit, Rorschach s Ribs delves into a world of layoffs, recessions, target markets and the underbelly of capitalism. I actually rate this book as 3.5 stars The setting is the midst of the dot.com bust, but it has correlations with and relevance today with America s economic meltdown This is also a good exploration of the myth and meaning of the American Dream, through a variety of characters The ending was an exceptional closing to the novel.There were only two minor points that reduced my rating One, I felt that there were some anachronisms Assuming this is the period or height of the dot.com burst, the ipod would barely have been released Grunge was not the music of the day, but of the characters highschool days which may have been the point Two, Escher s surprise that Sophie recognized and liked Bukowski that this is so strange for a woman to relate to manly writing Although Bukowski explores the seamier side of life, it is real, honest, true, simple, and poetic He is actually one of my favorite authors.Following up with the Tao of Swayze is a great supplement to this fiction. Already being familiar with Marcus Eder s music with the band Strawfoot if you haven t heard them, check out Strawfoot s music on Myspace music and then thank me later , I was eager to get my hands on his first novel, Rorschach s Ribs I had read some of Eder s shorter pieces and enjoyed his style Given my familiarity with his creative output, I expected to thoroughly enjoy Rorschach s Ribs and was not disappointed Escher Stillwater, the novel s protagonist, finds himself unemployed Escher and his flatmates then inadvertently become the major weed supplier for an otherwise dry town With biting social commentary, commercial guerillaism, and a dose of twisted humor, Eder has put out a continuously entertaining first book Vicious Books made a fine choice picking Eder as its first author I must say they do seem to be able to spot talent Lance Carbuncle, Author of Smashed, Squashed, Splattered, Chewed, Chunked and Spewed No thank you.It was a struggle to decide to keep reading after reaching the end of part 1 There was nothing likable, or memorable, or even semi interesting about any of the characters The whole anti consumerism line was so pretentious that I hoped it was being so heavy handed ironically it wasn t Everything seemed like it could come from a hipster grab bag of fake angst Corporate Charlie , fuck Starbucks , bad poetry, bad tattoos, rallying against the MTV generation while idolizing Kurt Cobain, Pabst Blue Ribbon or as we know it, PBR , and considering smoking pot to be counter culture I was shocked that bands the characters discovered weren t mentioned Also, not that it would have made it any better, but it seemed like the time frame of late 90 s and mid 00 s couldn t quite be decided on though it was late 90 s Great premise, but just didn t deliver.