Review of Tijuana Donkey Showdown by Adam Howe

November 18, 2016


This is another where for the sake of pretend professionalism I'll curb my enthusiasm. Still, what a ride!

Reggie Levine is the hero, or rather antihero, of Tijuana Donkey Showdown and he isn’t particularly excited about it. This is the character’s second feature and, although unnecessary, it would be much more enjoyable to start with his first bumbling adventure onto paper in the collection Die Dog or Eat the Hatchet. I’m certainly glad I did.

Now, Tijuana Donkey Showdown surrounds Reggie in his home spot, a stool at the end of a sleazy strip bar. He's an ex-boxer turned bouncer and things at The Henhouse are in a constant state of splitting at the seams. Really, I’d do little justice in describing the shenanigans involved in this tale. I’ll just put a few key words to sink into your mental search bar: donkey-dick, cocaine, chupacabra, Nicolas-Cage, prison-romance, ‘Merica.

As for skill, Adam Howe delivers the goods here with real life laughing out loud moments and an abundance of raunchy or goofy, and yet clever, lines. The story is fast and loud, coming at you from pretty well every likely, and unlikely, angle.

In most cases, the parachute-under-the-seat that saves the day is a roadmap to eye roll city, but here, the parachutes are so absurd, so asinine, that as a reader I was too caught up imagining the implications of the visual foray to recognize that fortuitous winds very often blow in the direction of friendlies just before the tornado wipes everything else away. It almost counterbalances the absurd bad luck anyway.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It is funny, quick, smart and stupid in perfectly pared parts and I look forward to any future Levine adventures. It also is completely fucking insane in a most fantastic manner, something like if Tom Robbins bent time to compare notes with John D. MacDonald during a nitrous oxide fog.


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Powell River, British Columbia, Canada
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