When a gold coin heist turns out badly a pair of idiotic crooks hook-up with some moronic thieves and decide to steal the secret KFC chicken recipe.

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“BIRDBRAIN is a novel about…something. It has a plot, it is conventional enough to be that considerate–actually it has two plots, maybe more–but neither one are anything more than ploys to give the reader something to hang on to during the ride and, boy what a ride it is. It is, at its basic level, a tale told by a nameless (and possibly loony) narrator about Mr. Baltimore, a criminal well, not so much “mastermind” as moron, who has been charged by the mysterious Mr. X, the kingpin, to steal a shipment of gold commemorative coins which they intend to melt and paint onto a Chrysler Windsor. To that end Baltimore hires an inept crew and gives them all stupid code names straight out of the movie Reservoir Dogs because, well, because he liked the movie Reservoir Dogs. The heist goes horribly awry (needless to say) and the gold-painted car goes missing and Baltimore and the narrator become (at the irate Mr. X’s urging) involved with two insane British thugs (one of whom is obsessed with the song “Dixie Chicken” and the other who has an unnatural affection for his GPS) to find the car. Oh, a third criminal, a Hulk-like woman known only as Mad Rose is hired as muscle.

Well, the search for the gold car quickly becomes a secondary job as the Brits want to steal the KFC secret recipe (still with me?) for their kingpin, a man known only as “Brains.” Well, to reveal the identity of Brains would be to ruin some of the fun found here as the hapless group go forth on their journey to KFC HQ in Kentucky. Along the way we learn many things, none of which have a thing to do with a thing but are fun, such as why the chicken crossed the road, the secret life of Colonel Sanders, the Flintstones, why Elvis’ sideburns are triangular and so, so, so much more. BIRDBRAIN is a hilarious, confounding and utterly preposterous book that is unlike anything you’ve ever read, even if you’ve read like, everything. It calls itself a novel, but it reads more like the fever dream of a daffy chicken. To make obvious comparisons: a touch of Vonnegut here, a dash of silly Python-style humor there, traces of Robbins, Heller and Eggers and then all wrapped in a Coen Brothers-style sense of wry saucy insolence. It’s not for everybody, but then what is?” –Wm. Paul Allan HyperReality

BIRDBRAIN book trailer:



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