The Total Emasculation of the White Man
A series of strange events begin to occur in the region of Athens, Georgia, in the sweltering heat of the Southern summer.
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“. . . a complex plot with a Robert Rankin vibe . . .”
Middle-aged security guard Felix Higginbottom, successful college professor turned stay-at-home dad Arlo Rasmussen, medical student Edward Binkowski and his buddy Cletus Jones are four otherwise normal people going about their normal lives until they find the world has suddenly become a bizarre and terrifying place. Are they really “on a mission from God?” The angel Cassiopeia tells them it’s so – but can she be trusted? She has the looks and a body to make a monk rip off his robes and howl at the moon. And why does she drive a beat-up car and book rooms in the seediest of motels, paying cash only?
An eclectic cast of characters ranging from a thuggish pimp to a grandmother who isn’t what she appears to be conspire to befuddle the four men until it seems time itself has become unhinged. Blackouts, a racist book, a maniac dressed in a fast-food outlet costume, a cross-dressing rap promoter and a screaming infant who may be possessed by the devil only add to the mix. Somewhere at the heart of it all lies the cause – but can the men hold on to their sanity long enough to uncover the instigator of their misfortunes?
In The Total Emasculation of the White Man, Bernard weaves a complex plot with a Robert Rankin vibe showing what happens when comfortable certainties become uncomfortable and surreal. The four protagonists are drawn with enough detail to elicit sympathy for their plight. Unfortunately the manuscript would have benefited from the attentions of a copy editor, as it’s littered with typos which detract from the narrative flow.
Reviewer: Cindy A. Matthews