Happy Mutant Baby Pills (Harper Perennial)
Lloyd has a particular set of skills. He writes the small print for prescription drugs, marital aids, and incontinence products. The clients present him with a list of possible side effects. His job is "to recite and minimize"—sometimes by just saying them really fast and other times by finding the language that can render them acceptable. The results are ingenious. The methods diabolical.
Lloyd has a habit, too. He cops smack during coffee breaks at his new job writing copy for Christian Swingles, an online dating service for the faithful. He finds a precarious balance between hackwork and heroin until he encounters Nora, a mysterious and troubled young woman, a Sylvia Plath with tattoos and implants, who asks for his help.
Lloyd falls swiftly in love, but Nora bestows her affections at a cost. Before Lloyd clears his head from the fog of romance, he finds himself complicit in Nora's grand scheme to horrify the world and exact revenge on those who poison the populace in order to sell them the cure.
Praise for Happy Mutant Baby Pills:
"Jerry Stahl is one of our last defenders against the darkness and Happy Mutant Baby Pills is a deeply funny and devastating warning label for the world we live in, a world that is ultimately, as Stahl brilliantly demonstrates, one giant side effect."--Sam Lipsyte, author of The Ask
"Jerry Stahl is "the" American hipster bard."--James Ellroy, author of L.A. Confidential and My Dark Places
"Jerry Stahl squirts forth another brutal and hilarious masterpiece of literary burlesque. Happy Mutant Baby Pills is so good it hurts." "--Lydia Lunch
"Jerry Stahl should either get the Pulitzer Prize or be shot down in the street like a dog."--Anthony Bourdain
Jerry Stahl is the author of Permanent Midnight; I, Fatty; Perv—a Love Story; and Plainclothes Naked. He has written extensively for film and television, and his work has appeared in Esquire, Details, Playboy, and other publications. He lives in Los Angeles.
Richard Lange was born in Oakland, CA and grew up in California's San Joaquin Valley. He's the author of the novels Angel Baby and This Wicked World and the short story collection Dead Boys. His short stories have appeared in The Sun, The Iowa Review and Best American Mystery Stories, and as part of the Atlantic Monthly's Fiction for Kindle series. He received the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award for Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, was a finalist for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship.