So far, Scot Kring has been having a good day. He's had a killer surf session, and his boss has just called him to say that Scot's hero, filmmaker Kevin Smith, is at the office and if Scot hurries back, he can be the one to fit the new stereo system in Kevin's car.
All Scot has to do first is stop off at the Fasmart and grab a couple of slushies.
So, it's a shame when a homeless man suffers a seizure and accidentally summons a demon.
And before you can say, 'Ghostbusters did the same thing with the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man,' the demon reads Scot's mind and takes the form of none other than filmmaker Kevin Smith.
Trapped in the Quickstop Fasmart with only his wits and some hotdogs, will he escape in time to fit Kevin Smith’s in-car sound system.
So, here's the bit where I tell you that this is the first time I've read anything written by Brian Asman.
It wasn't even I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today that first caught my attention regarding his work.
I was randomly looking through titles that had been newly released when I found a book called Nunchuck City. 'Hey, that sounds interesting,' I thought. So, I took a closer look into the author's work.
'Well, he looks like a happy bearded chap. I wonder what else he has written?'
And that's when the cover to I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today jumped out at me.
'Holy shit! It's a giant demonic Kevin Smith attacking a Fasmart. Even the title is a line famously uttered by Dante/Brian O'Halloran. I need this book in my life.'
Naturally, after that burst of excitement, I bought it. As soon as it dropped through the letterbox, I scooped it up, sat down and read it in one sitting.
OK. It isn't the longest of reads, being a novella that clocks in at 80 pages, but that's not the point I'm trying to make. What's important is that I sat down to read and didn't emerge from my blissful reading cocoon until I had finished. Even more unusual was that my naturally grumpy bearded features had a smile showing through all the gingery bristles. Maybe not on the same scale as that picture of Brian, but there was certainly a smile on my chops.
'But Mark,' I hear you cry. 'I'm not a fan of Kevin Smith. I haven't even seen his movies. In fact, who the fuck is he?'
And that's fine. You don't need to be a fan to enjoy this novella. Sure, it will help to have a bit of knowledge. To know that Clerks 2 is a worthy sequel and that the less said about Yoga Hosers, the better. But if not, no big deal.
What counts is the story. Scot is a likeable character, although I am intrigued that this isn't the first time he has battled a demon. I don't know if that was just a character trait, or if Scot has appeared elsewhere in Brians work, but then again, just as how you can enjoy the story without prior knowledge of the films of Kevin Smith, my lack of detailed info about Scots past didn't deter from the story.
Brian's writing is compelling, and some great descriptive lines had me chuckling, such as the claim that Banana smoothies 'taste like ball sweat and broken dreams.' There are some great lines of dialogue too, and although you don’t need a PHD in the films of Kevin Smith, it does help to have a bit of knowledge regarding pop culture, otherwise, just like a couple of characters in the book, you probably won’t have got the Ghostbusters reference.
There is something that I haven't mentioned, though. This story is what is termed 'Bizarro fiction.' Now, if you've made it this far, but the phrase 'bizarro' puts you off, don't let it.
I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today is, well, ‘bizarro light would probably be the best way I can describe it. It's not that absurd. Seriously. I've read some weird shit in my time, and this is nowhere near as strange and grotesque as some bizarro titles. I would even go so far as to say that it is a good entry-level title into the world of bizarro fiction.
If any part of this review has intrigued you, or if you're like me and the cover art and title of the book grabbed your attention, then I highly recommend you pick it up.
You can also click here to visit Brian's website and take a look at his filmography as well as other titles such as the aforementioned Nunchuck City, and the newly released Man, Fuck this House.