Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Roadblaster #03 - Blood Ride

I am requesting that this book be enshrined into the Library of Congress. Paul Hofrichter, aka He Who Creates the Horror, should be commended for not only this novel, but the trilogy of trophies known as the ‘Roadblaster’ series. It’s truly extraordinary, a spectacle of grand design. Those of you familiar with my reviews of this novel’s predecessors, “Hell Ride” and “Death Ride”, understand just how low I place this author on the rungs descending into that scorching, skin-searing abyss known as Hell. “Blood Ride” far surpasses the legendary status of the prior books and lowers to the ranks of what can only be deemed as the new "worst piece of fiction ever created". It’s an utter abomination worthy of high praise and endless critique at world-renowned libraries like the Reading Room of the British Museum and The Vatican. I’d like great Monasteries like Saint Gall and Benedictine to marvel over its printed pages for centuries to come.

Paul Hofrichter, the horror…the absolute horror.

Stack, our “Roadblaster”, begins this final chapter of spiraling doom with a visit with a biker gang aptly titled The Harley Davidson Club. They request that he accompany them across the Golden Gate Bridge to locate two sisters of a deceased gang member. It’s only four days after the nuclear bombs annihilated America and Stack is concerned about his parents, kids and loving wife back in New York. Rather than mourn the potential melting of his entire family, he graciously accepts the offer. At one point, the narrator explains that Stack wants the military to fly him – a New York city cab driver by trade – to New York so he can check on his loved ones. He clarifies to a biker that he can’t drive his van across the US for fear of depleting his fuel or experiencing engine failure. He dismisses the fact that cars are strewn everywhere, and that fuel should be in abundance considering the nukes just fell and people are still driving. But, instead of vanning cross-country, he’s walking across the cables to a stranger’s house to locate two sisters that are probably dead. The walk…takes 60 pages.

Mercifully, Stack reaches the other side, and, instead of searching the ruins of the house, he sits down for lunch. Later, an elderly man swings by hoping that Stack will offer his tuna. Stack doesn’t and the whole chapter is just awkwardly dedicated to…lunch. Food is brought up again in the next chapter as Stack and the group disregard the importance of searching for bodies and decide a night at the beach frolicking and eating crabs is an important use of precious time. In 12-pages of utter nonsense, Hofrichter explains that it’s a cruelty to cook crabs while they are alive. He goes on for pages and pages of how barbaric it is to eat crabs and lobsters boiled or broiled. At one point, the group can’t properly boil the crabs, so they fetch a pot of dirty, radioactive seawater to use. After crabs, an aimless Stack gets invited by a female colleague to engage in anal sex (because she doesn’t want to become pregnant). Stack, consistently demanding more than anyone in this post-apocalypse nightmare, says it physically hurts too much. The female, in her infinite wisdom, requests he run to the water and fetch another cup of dirty, radioactive seawater and pour that on his penis and reenter. I barely have words.

Somewhere, around page 160ish, Stack is thinking about the abandoned B-52 in the mountains. If you will recall, the first book discussed the bomber and a motorcycle gang in demand for a B-52. The stereotypical gang, The Bloodsuckers, are still running around wanting this plane so they can rule California, eat pizza and commit intercourse with the state’s residents. They are big on intercourse. So, they remain in the book and the author spends time introducing us to them in long backstories with absolutely no point or story development. One character he describes as angry because of his “prison experience”. Apparently, this guy could only masturbate on his cot with his knees bent. He wanted to do it lying completely flat but couldn’t due to the gay prisoners seeing him. This experience has made him angry with the world and only a B-52 bomber can expel that pent-up sexual frustration. There are pages of this, so much that with only 20-pages remaining the plot finally rears its ugly head.

Stack wants to use a Soda Truck (let’s call it “Shasta”) to transport the missiles and bombs from the plane’s wings and undercarriage. He has no tools for this and the weapons weigh over 500-pounds. Once he places them on Shasta, he will then drive them to a river, load them on canoes and float them into an underwater cave. The reason? He feels if they are left in the sun for an extended period they will heat, creating an explosion. Thus, placing them on water in an underground cave resolves this potential environmental disaster. The Bloodsuckers appear. Stack and his group shoot at them. The Bloodsuckers go back home. Telos. The End.

At the 160th page of this 190-page book…we still don’t have purpose, planning or anything remotely resembling a damn plot or what is promised to us on the cover. At the end, we still don’t. We deserved that cloak and smoking CAR-15 and we damn sure deserved that painted motorcycle-outlaw cave shit at the bottom. Hofrichter, you thief extraordinaire, you baited and hooked us again only to troll us at the deepest depths like some slimy, trash eating carp. I’m gutted, defeated and scorned…but in your unskillful brilliance you have miraculously provoked me to tell others about this literary monstrosity. Somehow, your ‘Roadblaster’ atrocities will live eternally, carrying on long after I’ve departed this world. For that, I applaud your half-assed effort and bow to your coveted immortality.