South of the Pumphouse

South of the Pumphouse

The founder of the prog-rock group Primus joins Nick Cave, Kinky Friedman, and Jimmy Buffett in the small category of musician-novelists. It’s tempting to describe South of the Pumphouse, which recounts a fishing trip taken by two brothers and their racist, bullying acquaintance, as an on-acid version of Buffett’s similarly ocean-fixated oeuvre — except that LSD is about the only drug not consumed by the trio during their ill-starred journey. Les Claypool’s foreboding, economic prose keeps you intrigued as to just where matters are headed, but ultimately can’t disguise the fact that this is a minnow of a story blown up to novel proportions.

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