What a deliciously bizarre book! Guillermo Stitch pulls no punches in his hilarious illustration of human society. Also mixing in a range of reimagined fairytale tropes, Lake of Urine is a very fitting comedy for the 21st century. The novel involves Noranbole Wakeling, a kind of Cinderella, who runs away from her incessant chores, domineering mother, and pampered sister. The story unfolds in typical bizarro tangles, so allow me to provide a few hints as to what to expect.
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The Wakeling family and their community, Tiny Village, are in upheaval after Willem Seiler’s measuring experiments of the local lake go terribly wrong. During the madness, Noranbole escapes to Big City with a lover and makes a new successful life for herself. But her mother – and chores – refuse to let her go. Matters must be resolved for this weird tale to reach a happy ending… of a sorts. Lake of Urine uses several other perspectives to deliver a slapstick yet occasionally serious portrayal of a world that flits between strangeness and familiarity. It does get a bit confusing and difficult to get into at times, but the frequent laughs and excellent writing style are well worth the effort.
Playful Use of Literary Tropes
Apart from Cinderella, you’ll find funny variations of the fairy godmother, Pinnochio, goose that laid the golden egg, and many more. Lake of Urine, however, goes beyond innocent fairytales. In addition to gothic, romantic, and satirical elements, it doesn’t evade using society’s lewdness and profanities against it too. Unfortunately, I’m not a big fan of oversexualised texts and there were one or two moments that felt forced. Having said that, the hints of erotica aren’t overbearing and some have a very clever purpose. The overall combination of literary caricatures balances everything out brilliantly.
Satire of Society
This book is an unapologetic mockery of civilization. Don’t expect anything less. From white-collar capitalism to ridiculous ideals, Stitch puts a hilarious spin to all things wrong with our society. Hyperboles and cartoonesque exultations abound alongside weird metaphors and moments of darkness, pain, and blank resignation. These aspects of Lake of Urine won me over the most. Among the humor are thoughtful gems regarding things like familial and human relations, individuality, judgement, and sexism. Here is the type of novel that can be endlessly picked apart for its meanings.
Lake of Urine is unlike anything I’ve read in a while. It’s a complex and highly amusing read, ideal for fans of bizarro, satire, and fairytales. Scenes and dialogues are so full of character and clever detail that Guillermo Stitch’s novel will likely make you revisit it several times over. The sign of a great addition to the modern literary universe.
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