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My Friend Jesus Christ 

By Lars Husum, translated by Mette Petersen (Portobello/House of Anansi)

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A modest formal experiment in narrative minimalism, Danish thespian Lars Husum provides as little data as possible to move the plot along for star appearances by My Friend Jesus Christ. Expect no realistic descriptions. Husum’s first novel transliterates cartoon panels depicting spare silhouettes without detail. Comic book exclamatories like SMACK, WALLOP, a page-long AAAAHHHH and LA LA LA LA LA punctuate, without graphic balloons, how Niko and Sis, children of iconic Danish pop musician Grith Okholm, as well as Niko’s personal self-transformation clique NATO, including mega-buxom cousins Miriam and Marianne, give and take a bit of todger as they all shag, snog and the like. Raunchy, idealistic and vague, but not repulsive, insipid or vacuous, My Friend Jesus Christ elicits uncomfortable, awkward private emotions without invading the reader’s detachment. A fast, intriguing read which begs the question, “Where will---or can---Husum take this new genre next?”

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