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June 14-20, 2006

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'Ludmilla's Broken English'

Ludmilla's Broken English
REVIEW (By DBC Pierre; W.W. Norton; 326 pages; $24.95 cloth)
—Richard von Busack

Rump-raped (by granddad), SWF from outer-Caucasoid separatist republic seeks British conjoined twin SWMs for life-affirming snog 'n' shag. Meet the newly excised Siamese twins Bunny and Blair Heath, one a New Britannic striver, the other a sniveling Anthony Newly-grade twerp pining for the taste of a "chip butty" (yum, a french-fry sandwich). Even their septic, smelly London is paradise compared to the imaginary Ubili homeland of the heroine Ludmilla, a realm akin to cartoonist Al Capp's Lower Slobbovia, nothing but beet fields and shell holes: "Even allowing for their traditional delight in hardship, their respect for the sweet ecstasy of suffering, emotional tolls were two a kopek in Ublilsk that December." The second novel by DBC Pierre (Vernon God Little) is a jackstraw pile of wicked sentences that never quite shore up as a novel. Still, one nibbles away at the passing platters of literary hors d'oeuvres of polymath slang. How's this for a bit of near-future London haute cuisine: "Romany Fig Polenta with Huitlacoche Tips and Sorrel-Smoked Bushmeat Lardons."


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