Matt Forney
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POPPPAPPP by Momus

popppapppThe latest novel from Scottish postmodern musician Momus (real name: Nicholas Currie), POPPPAPPP is pretty much a stylistic continuation of his previous release, Herr F. The plot—if you can call it that—revolves around two British graphic designers who’ve been kidnapped by a Syrian terrorist group that bases its belief system around the lyrics of a punk band.

No, I don’t get it either, and I’m not going to even try to.

POPPPAPPP pretty much solidifies that Momus is unlikely to ever write a coherent novel unless someone locks him in a rubber room and slaps him around for a week. It’s written in the same style as Herr F.: disjointed paragraphs and scenes, flitting from idea to idea as Momus’ ADD prevents him from settling down on an idea long enough to develop it properly:

The two friends make their bodies thin as cigarette papers and squeeze up through the crack in the bomb-blasted wall. They haul themselves over a gravel bank and stumble across a landscape of broken trees, stagnant pools, shell craters and searchlight beams. The town is a powder keg. Above, phosphorus flares zoom and explode inside lowering hammerhead clouds. The air pulses with a broody glow and the stink of singed garlic.

While there are gems of prose to be found in the book, reading POPPPAPPP feels like the literary equivalent of freeganism. Momus’ novels are increasing evidence for the aphorism that postmodernism has the breadth of an ocean and the depth of a sidewalk puddle. While his shotgun-like approach to writing is what makes his songs so memorable and haunting, it cripples his novels and makes them unbearably pretentious.

POPPPAPPP’s saving grace is that, like Herr F., it’s available for free from publisher Fiktion. The book definitely has its moments, and since you don’t have to put anything on the line to read it (aside from your time), you’re perfectly free to discount my opinion and read POPPPAPPP for yourself. But Momus isn’t going to be quitting his day job anytime soon.

Click here to download POPPPAPPP.

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  • Johnny Arson

    I don’t know who that is, and I’m never going to read that book. But a negative review like this is the kind of thing that gives me hope. Makes me belief that I’m not swimming in a sea of fluff and malarkey.