Mr. Crabby You Have Died is a demented romp that sways between memoir and fiction. The first full-length work by Jeremy Kitchen—a public librarian, former dope fiend, and U.S. Army artillery observer in Desert Storm—this book is an involuntary regurgitation of a life that is as comic as it is horrifying.
Kitchen lays bare his world through a series of interlocking exorcisms that deny linear time and good taste. Lost years in the Sarin-laced Persian Gulf drift backwards into Detroit’s acid trash landscape, only to corkscrew forward again into a seemingly endless Chicago night of heroin, handguns, and idiot pranksterism. He paints us a picaresque sprawl with blunt prose—ever haunted by the ungraspable shadow of combat and populated by the likes of an evangelical sadist, a sex-positive trustafarian, and an enigmatic preppie known only as Crackhead Anthony.
A nausea-inducing affront to sentimentality and the literary arts both, Mr. Crabby You Have Died is a collection of parables about the stupid beauty of youth, the boredom of addiction, and the intensity of dreams. This is a deranged effort of immense power and hilarity that irradiates with an unvarnished heart.