I know I’m not the only person to have marathoned a gazillion pulp novels and thought, “I gotta write me one of those.” But Alisa Surkis and Monica Nolan had an even better idea. They thought “I gotta write me ALL of those.” And so they did.
The Big Book of Lesbian Horse Stories is a completely unsubtle, totally over the top parody of every lesbian pulp plotline ever. From wartime barracks hijinks, to freckle-faced girls on the farm to the sleazy criminal underworld, with side trips into the depression dust bowl, the shtetl of the Lower East Side in New York and a new age womyn’s commune. And horses. Oh yes, every story includes a horse, sometimes under preposterous circumstances. All of the horses are beautiful in a nearly sexual way, except for Herschel the Wonder Horse who was definitely the best – and smartest – character in the book.
If you’re new to lesbian pulp novels, this book might not make a huge impression on you, but after reading some of the best of the breed (Women’s Barracks) and some of the silliest (Intimate Story of a Lesbian) you just know *exactly* what these authors are parodying.
I really can’t express how funny this book is, so I’m not going to try. I’m going to let it speak for itself. Here are a few choice quotes from some of the stories:
“Yes, I can be useful, woman though I am! Even because of the woman I am – a woman not like other women. But how not like other women – what kind of a woman am I? Will I meet other women like me, who can tell me what kind of a woman I am? Or will it be a woman unlike myself, who will show me what kind of woman I can be?”
“The whole car was stuffed so full of their belongings, the clothing, farm-tools and the bits of furniture they’d been able to take from the farm in Oklahoma after the bank foreclosed, that there was hardly any room for Ma, Pa, Uncle Jo-Jo, the five Budd children and Grandma Jennie.”
This story had the added charm of things like, “You won’t really understand dialectic materialism until you’ve heard it explained by Jack Rosenblum, who you may know as Pedro the Singing Bandit.”
And here’s Herschel the Wonder Horse, known as “Johhny Apple”: “…they had been selling fruit outside the yeshiva on 14th Street. Some of the young scholars were arguing over the Talmud, and one of them had quoted a passage incorrectly. He had paid no attention to Johnny Apple’s indignant snorts, and not until an overripe peach knocked his yarmulke off did he realize his error.”
Perhaps these don’t seem funny to you (especially the bits in, say, Yiddish) but I was laughing like a howler monkey. I read these, and many other lines out loud as we sat and stared at the Caribbean eat the spit of sand we were sitting on.
Book funny. Go read. And for heaven’s sake, please don’t take it seriously, like the first reviewer on the Amazon webpage did! It’s BROAD satire. Pun intended.
Overall – perfect beach reading.