aardvarks and repercussions
(originally posted 6/13/2018)
After two critically acclaimed collections of short stories that were widely ignored by the masses Lance Manion finally had the hit he’d been waiting for in 2013 with his third book The Ball Washer. Suddenly he was one of the most recognizable names on the planet. It spent nearly six months at the top of the New York Times Best Sellers List and you couldn’t turn on the television without somebody talking about the genius of his prose.
Predictably this led to a lifestyle of debauchery and excess on the scale not seen since Hunter S. Thompson in his prime. Alcohol, drugs, women and hippos, nothing escaped his voracious appetites. Inevitably his work began to suffer and in the following two years he released four more books that, taken as a whole, could easily have been the worst stream of liquid shit ever excreted upon the reading public.
Still his faithful supports stuck with him. Through the accusations of plagiarism, sexism, racism, cynicism, vulgarism, mongolism, egoism, fascism, hedonism, nihilism, fatalism, escapism, organism, diabolism, vampirism, terrorism, anthropopathism, existentialism, commercialism, nonconformism, majoritarianism and boatloads of jism, they stuck with him.
The press, just as eager to tear him down as they had been to build him up, took every opportunity to revel in his declining popularity. And his declining health. And the steep decline in the quality of his work.
Then out of nowhere it came. Like a bolt of lightning sent from Valhalla to wake both the critics and the slumbering heart of modern literature.
The post. The post of all posts. The post that was all a post could ever hope to be;
Offered up without warning on his website, it sent shockwaves around the world. It was called “Brilliant” by Zadie Smith, “A game changer” by Maria Bustillos, and “Something that gave me wood” by James Wood. “The meaning behind making the last aardvark plural will be debated for centuries to come.” (That last one is mine)
Suddenly he was launched back into the stratosphere.
With a new book on the horizon the future once again looks bright for Mr. Manion. What will he do with all this momentum? We shall have to wait and see.
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