Review: Ass Goblins of Auschwitz

                Reading Cameron Pierce’s sophomore bizarro novella is kind of like watching a Monty Python sketch where all the actors are on acid and so are you.  It’s weird, it’s fucked up, but somehow it all makes sense.  As with Shark Hunting in Paradise Garden, Pierce has molded a surreal world out of the Play-Doh that is his brain, and he’s filled it with grotesque mutants, cartoonish action, and gross-out satire.

                The Nazploitation genre was ripe for a bizarro interpretation, and the result is the Ass Goblins of Auschwitz.  The themes are here: Nazis torturing and experimenting on Jews, all for some obscure and usually very futile end. Only here the Nazis are played by ass goblins, troll-like monsters that worship war and ugliness.  The Jews are played by kids, innocent little beings that were kidnapped from their peaceful child-themed planet.  Auschwitz is their home, a place of ritualistic torture and humiliation.  The kids’ suffering at the hands of the ass goblins is comical at times.  Sure, the holocaust isn’t funny, POW camps aren’t funny, but that’s the point.  Pierce makes such a grand spectacle of the horrors that you can’t help but laugh.  It’s as if Ren & Stimpy made a Nazploitation movie.

                Cameron Pierce’s writing isn’t for everyone.  I struggled with certain scenes in “Ass Goblins”, as the narrative rushes along at a break-neck pace.  Pierce throws image after image of weird, gross, violent, and sometimes poignant stuff at you.  But I found some grounded ideas in the ass goblins’ belief in the relationship between freedom and war (opposite-meaning words that are always thrown together somehow).  Plus, you can’t help but sympathize with the kids.  Even though they’re parodies, and their suffering is utterly ridiculous, Pierce makes them come to terms with that suffering, like real people.

Get Ass Goblins of Auschwitz here:


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