Book Review: Me & Mr. Cigar

Butthole Surfers singer Gibby Haynes debuts a deeply weird and wonderful young adult novel.

<i>Me & Mr. Cigar</i>

Nothing better than the coming-of-age story of a boy and his dog. Unless, of course, the pup is immortal, telepathic, and supernatural in every sense of the word. In fact, it may not be a canine at all. From the sunset soul of Butthole Surfers frontman Gibby Haynes stems a young adult tale of wonder, peculiarity, and adventure of the highest degree: Me & Mr. Cigar. Enter Oscar Lester, a 17-year-old trying to make amends with his sister Rachel who fled after his beloved pooch Mr. Cigar bit off her hand. Since his sibling and pet are all that's left of the family pictures, Oscar's only wish is to sew back the trust the mutt betrayed. Naturally, evil forces must be reckoned with lest one or both of the dynamic duo meet their demise. Comprised of extremely short chapters paired with illustrations meant to crawl through the cracks of your sleeping mind, the singer's debut novel chips away reality and time suddenly loses meaning. Much like Surfers' tunes, each scene drops an acid trip variant that's either pure bliss or downright nerve-wracking – and includes a climax no one saw coming. Between the bindings of Me & Mr. Cigar dwells a strange chain of events indeed, but profane, tangible fantasy is what indie nation has come to expect from the wild heart of this Native Texan.

Me & Mr. Cigar

by Gibby Haynes
Soho Teen, 256 pp., $15.99

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Gibby Haynes, Butthole Surfers

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