HAND JOB by Chelsea Cain & Lidia Yuknavitch

You know it is going to be a wonderful day when out of the blue your right pinky talks to you. It isn’t just a simple greeting of friendship. No. This finger has things to say about you, how you have, (in its words), wasted your 50 years on this earth. It doesn’t like that you have played it safe in your self-made bubble. It is a rebel. After all, it is the only one talking to you. Also, while your other fingers are Christian, this one is an atheist.

This story transitions from weird to funny to horrific. One moment, the pinky is tossing out one-liners like it should be doing stand up comedy on its own HBO special. The next, it uses the hand it is attached to as an instrument of pain. The fifty-year-old woman’s nose is the victim of this self mutilation.

I’m all for character deconstructions. They reflect a choice made and the results of that decision. This one takes things to a weird extreme. The self-harm in this story is shocking at first but increasingly becomes absurd. It is supposed to be funny. However, I went from being engaged in the banter between pinky and owner to mentally checking out of the horror hotel of a plot somewhere around when one of the main character’s breasts hits the bathroom floor; the pinky driving the hand again to do the dirty work.

Suspension of disbelief works if there is a thread of logic involved. When the thread unravels, all hell breaks loose. Chaotic messes can be entertaining when executed right. In this case, the end result was too out there for my taste. And this is coming from someone who immensely enjoys the film Nurse 3D.