Well, this is certainly one of the most absurd books and I’ve read in quite some time. Andrew Hilbert’s ‘Invasion of the Weirdos’ takes place in his home town of Austin, Texas and reads like a mash-up of TV show ‘My Name is Earl’ and Kevin Smith’s ‘Mallrats’. Austin, Texas is a crazy place. I’ll give you a glimpse into some of the characters inside Hilbert’s book: Tobak Nrothak is the last living Neanderthal (click), who also happens to be highly skilled in robotics! (who would’ve thought?!), and the only person in Texas with a three-dimensional, holographic business card that talks! San Antonio also plays home to the God-brother, Manalo- a guy who thinks the British and Americans were actually lost tribes of Israel! Manalo is a religious podcast host trying to spread the gospel to the masses. We also have a group of nihilistic, anarchistic wannabe art students, an ex-communicated government operative that can’t let go of the past (or his memories of George W. Bush), so he tries to win his way back into government favour by infiltrating the group in the belief that they are terrorists. We have a couple of otherworldly aliens and Ephraim (Darnell from My Name is Earl, I’m sure of it). Now, Ephraim is a man who simply wants to hug kids! And to do this he wants to build a robot that he plans on setting up outside of his favourite McDonald’s!…yes, the consequences of a machine-hugging robot are absurdly funny! ‘ Invasion of the Weirdos’ is definitely out there but Hilbert’s love letter to Austin, Texas and its folk is genuine and damn hilarious. And I’m talking laugh out loud hilarious.
Each chapter is told from a different perspective and it works brilliantly. The chapters are short and sharp, the dialogue is superb, incredibly funny and somehow Hilbert pulls all of these weird and bonkers characters together towards the stories wacky conclusion, where each one has their own part to play. ‘ Invasion of the Weirdos’ is a bizarro gem of a book. It is one that genre fans will devour and if you’re looking for something completely different but outrageously funny then look no further. Last year, Adam Howe cracked me up with ‘Tijuana Donkey Showdown’ and this year it looks like it is the turn of Andrew Hilbert. Fabulous and funny as.
As a side note: the cover art suits the book perfectly, so well done to Luke Spooner.
Pick up a copy from here.