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From: Joshua Campbell
Category: Books
Date: 29 March 2005


The Myth of the Moon – The Loony’s Journey

ISBN: 1411624505 TITLE: The Loony, a novella of epic proportions AUTHOR: Christopher WunderLee PUBLISHER: Picaro Editions

Loony - informal or slang term for mentally irregular, i.e. lunacy, a) intermittent mental derangement associated with the changing phases of the moon; b) insanity, especially insanity relieved intermittently by periods of clear-mindedness.

Once in awhile, it’s interesting to entertain outlandish ideas or hear theories that are unique and different. Who hasn’t stayed up late watching a show about UFOs or read an article about the Men-In-Black? Our entire culture is seething with conspiracies, from accusations that the entire American Revolution was orchestrated by Masons and/or the Illuminati, to the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Even recent events like the suicides of Kurt Cobain and Hunter S. Thompson are conspiratorialized almost as soon as they happen.

It’s part of our culture, and it makes for some interesting social discussions. Probably one of the biggest, one that captivates thousands of people and continues to nag NASA to this day, is whether the United States actually went to the moon thirty years ago.

It’s appropriate that these events deal with the moon, a sphere thought to be made of cheese, an orb that was said to drive people mad, a globe that can propel normal people into intense passion, can wakeup werewolves, and controls our tides. The mythology of the moon has been with us since the beginnings of religion and art.

It refuses to go away, many people believe we never went to the moon during the Apollo Space Program, they believe it was a vast conspiracy forced upon us during the Cold War in order to win our Space Race with the Russians. That may seem crazy, but considering all the moon has offered us in the way of myths, it isn’t shocking.

That’s what is so perfect about Christopher WunderLee’s The Loony. WunderLee knows this, he knows his book dwells inside a myth-making culture, a culture that loves a good conspiracy, and he is unsparingly willing to explore that world. The Loony is enraptured with what it takes to create a myth, a religious zeal coupled with a historical event. And, it never hurts to have a sexy goddess thrown in.

From the whirling opening introducing the reader to what is lunacy, what is the conspiracy, to the sudden immersion into the protagonist’s quest towards “the ultimate lie,” The Loony delves deeper than any so-called muckraking article or socially explorative book into the core of our obsession with conspiracies. WunderLee writes us into the myth, following an astrophysicist named Albert Lochner as he becomes embroiled in a lie larger than himself, larger than history.

This journey is itself an archetype of the myth, as we, the reader, experience “insanity relieved intermittently by periods of clear-mindedness” and begin to wonder what is actually going on here. Is Albert Lochner a lunatic, or a pawn? Then, we have the introduction of the phantom goddess who appears to be his salvation and becomes his undoing, a Private Harris who could very well by another pawn, a super-skilled spy who uses sex as a weapon, or a figment of Albert’s imagination. She swoops in just at the right time, entrances the hero, and entraps him further into the myth. Thus, leading to Albert’s Nabakovian expedition, a two-year stretch in which he is blackmailed to keep quiet and forced into constant movement.

Like any good hero, Albert escapes and begins a search for truth, a search for his goddess and an explanation. However, his trials are unique to his quest, and eventually the source of a decision that will make him the ultimate Loony.

WunderLee has a gift for toying with his readers’ heads. His narrative style and the experimental mechanics of his prose are the root of The Loony’s success. The novel’s skill at confusion and beauty, merged in WunderLee’s expansive prose and intricate narration, is ultimately successful in exploring the root of myth making by being a myth itself.

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