Monday, January 31, 2022

Kramberger with Monkey by Rick Harsch


picture by Natasha Juhnov

There was such a man.

Three decades ago, there was, in far-away Slovenia, a self-made businessman with presidential ambitions, orating to his fellow-citizens with a monkey on his shoulder.

He was killed. Someone shot him down, just like the Kennedy's. They caught the suspect; a drunk. Intoxicated he confessed; sober he denied. But he went to prison all the same.

And the Monkey, asks the narrator, where was it when the fatal shot rung? Did it call in sick that day ?

So begins Rick Harsch's novel "Kramberger with Monkey", a wild and runaway exploration on political murders, rogue reporters, innocent scapegoats, invisible hitmen, murdering chimps, seedy politicians, ludicrous conspiracy theories, emerging democracies and coagulating autocracies.

In 44 dazzling funny chapters, and with a handful of devilishly selected scenes ( both true and fictional ), the author reminds us of the senselessness of the human comedy played out in an indifferent world.

As always with Harsch : dark entertainment shedding light.