Review: THE BROTHERS CRUNK by William Pauley III
(Reviewed by David W Barbee)
Capturing all the sleek style of an old NES game, the Brothers Crunk is a fast paced bizarro adventure with robots, slugs, a meat guy, and strange technologies. But more than that, this little novella perfectly captures that old feeling of 8-bit adventure. There are elements of old cartridge games like Metroid, Mega Man, and Super Mario Bros. As the story unfolds you feel as though these flesh and blood characters are living in a weird amalgam of those video game worlds, which makes the read that much more fun.
The Crunk Brothers are Divey and Reynold. They sell “brackfast” burritos on the weird and colorful Planet Japan, but their prospects aren’t looking so great. The book starts out with a game of Russian roulette using a Nintendo Zapper. Their luck gets worse thanks to Reynold, the screw up of the pair. But while Reynold is useless and absent-minded, Divey is the intelligent and capable one of the pair. So it’s only natural that Divey pays the price for Reynold’s screw up. Before he knows it, Divey finds a discarded cyborg in the desert sands, which immediately latches onto him and transforms him into a super-villainous warrior named Vandenboom bent on revenge against the Blitzkrieg Corporation.
It only gets weirder from there. It’s a wild Technicolor adventure with plenty of violence a weird landscape that’s well realized. Author William Pauley III does an excellent job of hitting all the right notes that will make the Nintendo generation squeal with delight. Just look at the cover art. If that doesn’t take you back to the old NES days, then you were probably born in the nineties. But even if you weren’t lucky enough to play a little Hogan’s Alley as a kid, give the Brothers Crunk a read. It’s a fine bizarro novella with good taste in video games.
David W Barbee wrote this review. He is the author of Carnageland and A Town Called Suckhole. No matter how hard he tried he could never beat Earthworm Jim, much less Battletoads.