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5.0 9
by Joey Goebel

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Kirkus Reviews
First novel by the 21-year-old Goebel, former lead singer of the punk band The Mullets: a tale of five oddballs who form a rock band in small-town Kentucky: Watch them make heads turn: the wild-eyed young black man (Luster); the smoking hot blonde in the wheelchair (Aurora); the feisty octogenarian in the cowboy boots (Opal); the hellraising third-grader Opal baby-sits (Ember); and an effeminate Iraqi (Ray). These are the eponymous Anomalies, who've come together under Luster's direction to play "power-pop new wave heavy metal punk rock." The players are introduced awkwardly, by multiple narrators in writing that stumbles from social realism to cartoonish whimsy. Thus protagonist Luster is both an industrious commissary runner at a dog-racing track and a lonely Mr. Clean in a family of drug-dealers (12 brothers, all called Jerome). What becomes clear soon enough is that this messy debut is the latest report from the front in America's never-ending cultural clash between the Hip and the Square, between free spirits and those whom Luster contemptuously dismisses as "humanoids." Unfortunately, Goebel's formulation is tired (the humanoids "are all hooked up to the same giant mechanical brain") and the battle lines not sharply drawn. We are left with a buzz of angry voices. Aurora is so angry with the predatory guys who keep hitting on her that she takes refuge in a wheelchair, though there is nothing wrong with her; Opal is angry with her nieces and her therapist; Luster and Ember are angry with just about everybody. Four angry band members, all fired up with nowhere to go. The exception is Ray, a gentle soul who has drifted over from Vonnegut country. His quixotic mission is to find andapologize to the GI he wounded in the Gulf War. He succeeds, but the unintended consequence is that the band's one and only gig descends into bloody mayhem. Dispensing with plot, Goebel wings it, credibility take the hindmost. It doesn't work.

Product Details

MacAdam/Cage Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date:
Edition description:
New Edition
Product dimensions:
5.34(w) x 8.22(h) x 0.89(d)

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Anomalies 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Can you say out of the mainstream??? Finally, something thats worth the paper it was printed on. I read his second book ( The tortured artist) before i read this one and i have to admit that there is hope for young intelligent authors in the US. The best way to describe Goebel's work is to refer to something that Moliere said about one of his plays. ' Most people go home after my plays and find it rather amusing and entertaining, that tells me that they didn't understand any of it, they should be crying and deeply deprssed' Goebels work is honest, intelligent, pin points topics that many think about and don't mention ( having the thought of making bestseller lists ). This is not a book about some dark, conspiracy that you can read page by page and put it to the side afterwards, saying ' good' . This piece of art, is hard to swallow but yet so true. If you are looking for easy entertainment with no thoughts, this is not for you. On the other side if you are looking for a book that will make you reconsider your thoughts and give yourself a break ( after the relief that you are not the only who has these thoughts ) then this is a must read. Enjoy
Guest More than 1 year ago
A few comments about the author: In my opinion, university English, Psychology and Sociology departments should begin implementing new curricula as soon as possible that offer entire courses on Joey Goebel and his writing. His insights, philosophies and means of expressing them are disturbingly profound, poignant and authentic. I liken him to a 21st century Shakespeare ¿ a prophet with an astute command of so many facets of the language and what seems like a direct feed into the minds of the masses as well as the anomalous minority. As a long-standing devotee to J.D. Salinger, it comes heavy with the weight of praise that I say this young genius has written, in my opinion, the greatest novel since The Catcher in the Rye. But to simply list him along side Salinger is not nearly praise enough. Goebel has the spirit of Tom Robbins, only spicier and even more unsettling, wrapped in the puff pastry of Hunter S. Thompson¿s ingenious inventiveness all basted together with a better understanding of the human condition than John Steinbeck, Harper Lee, Toni Morrison or Alice Walker, and the uncanny ability to make it all so spoon-feedably delicious for the Coca-Cola canaille. In 22 years, he seems to have gleaned a knowledge of life that is centuries old. A few comments about The Anomalies: In simply naming the characters, Goebel writes more of a novel than many I have read. I pray the symbolism does not go unnoticed by his audience. Five distinctly separate voices tell the story of the simmering `power-pop new wave heavy metal punk rock band that rocks to the fifth power impossibly.¿ Aurora: the dawn, the light at daybreak and also the unfathomably beautiful Northern Lights ¿ a multitude of electrically charged particles emanating form the sun, colliding with various particles in the air, creating the ever lovely, ever changing, ever elusive Aurora. Ember: a tiny glowing chunk of beauty, until you get too close, then you can feel the burn (or Ember venom), capable of and prone to starting new fires. Opal: the stone that shimmers with rainbow colors, never set in one specific pattern ¿ amorphous, incandescent and translucent. Ray: emitted from a beacon far away, the light of the American dream ¿Ray, a red-blooded American name for an Iraqi ex-soldier more in love with Americans and the Red, White and Blue than any of us who were born here; allegiant to a country for letting him indulge in Frappuccinos and halter tops. And finally, Luster: the fifth sparkling symbol in the pentaband, representing the lustrous glow of all things shiny as well as an insatiable lust for a better life, a better way, a better venue for his music. Aptly naming the characters was merely the flaky piecrust covering to the deeply cherry filling of The Anomalies. Goebel, being an anomaly in his own right has `just enough love to devote a damn to the stereotypical commoners collectively representing the antagonists¿ and, if the reader is paying attention, takes each of his audience members¿ hands and walks them down a `pig-tailed path¿ which he has beautifully lined on both sides with allegories, metaphors, wit, irony and personality. Bravo! One final thought. Joey Goebel¿s ability to weave words and thoughts and ideas into and over and under and around one another is spectacular. From the first sentence to the last notion he manages to create an interconnectedness of every expression with every word with every locution with every phrase that ties the plot so completely in proper knots, there are no holes there to find. This weaving of words might mistakenly be perceived as foreshadowing by some, but I personally feel to call it that is like calling tuberculoses a little cough. I simply do not know what I would call it except prodigious or some other exclamatory adjective. Never in my years and years of voracious reading have I been privy to language so pregnant with color and cognizance, so crowded with the gorgeousness of anomalous behavior and
Guest More than 1 year ago
I mention Carver and O'Connor because they are the only writers I can draw any kind of parallel to when I read the way Joey Goebel crafts characters and their thoughts so masterfully, so completely -- and yet allows his dramatis personae to serve, in some capacity, as allegorical entities. Like O'Connor, this young writer also has the knack for being humorous and tragic at the same time, and he puts words together with the same deft skill. However, it is unfair to compare Joey Goebel to any writer, because he brings something new and different to the table. I've heard punk rock, but I don't know that, before The Anomoalies, I had ever read punk rock. Punk Rock with literary gravitas. Goebel is railing against the closed minded, rural western Kentucky environment, against pre-judgement in general, and against the clicques and cretins who laugh at people for being different. Sometimes that difference is a sword that can cut the ties that bind an individual to the mundane existence we all muddle through. I think Joey Goebel has done that. I believe he soars with this novel, in which the overriding message is to chase the dream. I think readers will agree -- it is good that Mr. Goebel chased his, and that wise publisher gave him a chance.
Guest More than 1 year ago
With brilliant insight, commanding control of language, and amazing wit and humor, this young author has created a masterpiece. It's astounding that he's just 21-years-old, and I am in awe of his talent. His refreshingly original and unforgettable characters leap off the page into your heart and mind. I can't wait to read what this young genius creates next.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is for all ages, but I doubt that the author intended it that way. Although I am middle-aged, I try to read at least twice each year to keep myself youthful ¿thinking.¿ The previous one I read this year was Twelve, and now I have just completed The Anomalies. The Anomalies¿ main characters range from eight to eighty. Each is so well depicted that you feel you have actually known that person in real life. You find yourself rooting for each and every one of the five people to find the happiness they are seeking. There are numerous situations that are extremely funny and you will find yourself smiling as you think of them days after completing the book. At times the humor borders on tragedy, but it is woven intelligently. You will find it amazing that such a young author can explore the minds of characters aged eight to eighty and be so on target with all of them. I have not experienced age eighty, but this book sure inspires me to want to reach it. This young man has a knack for weaving a weird tale about human nature and holding one¿s interest totally to the end. I read it in two sittings because I could wait no longer to read how these five lives would terminate in the novel. Although intelligently written, it flows rapidly for easy comprehension. Excellent! We will hear more from Goebel for sure as he is a gifted storyteller.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Joey Goebel is a unique human being in a world too full of unoriginal hamsters. His book is different from the other novels cramed on the shelves at the bookstore. It is this difference that restores my faith in the American book buisness. God bless Joey, the great state of Kentucky, and all the beautiful female groupies who follow young Joey everywhere he goes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought the Anomolies at a book fair, and read it completely the very same day. Goebel manages to break every rule a writer should follow, write one of the most politically incorrect books I've ever read, and still make it work. The voice throughout the story is that of a common person; the type of person editors often look down on most. The characters speak in stereotypes, have moments of complete and utter hypocrisy (Lester is the key to that one) and still remain loveable and entirely believable. The bizaarest things happen, most of which I can't tell without fear of divulging the ending, and yet there is no question as to whether it really 'happened' or not. I think readers from the Western Kentucky-Southern Indiana area might find this book more appealing, also, because of many cultural references, such as with the Kentucky Wildcat logos mentioned throughout the book. I'm not sure exactly how Goebel did it, but he managed to turn the oddest, strangest, would-be completely unsuccessful idea, with his strange characters, and made it work with spirit, non-apology, and personal experience. You should DEFINATELY read this book, and make sure to watch out for the 'humanoids'.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ignore the Kirkus review - this is a truly wonderful book. We can recognize ourselves and people we love to hate through the eyes of blessedly nonconformist characters. I enjoyed every moment!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I got an adavance copy of this book from the bookstore I work at and I absolutely loved it. It rang so true to the life I live in, yet was much more amusing. I can't wait for Goebel's next work. Who would have thought a writer so young could have produced a book this great. I recommend it to everyone of every age.