Austinite JAMES HYNES found his literary groove writing hallucinatory satire about the inanities of academia in The Lecturer’s Tale and Publish and Perish. With KINGS OF INFINITE SPACE (St. Martin’s), he parodies mind-numbing bureaucracy through the fictional TxDoGS, the Texas Department of General Services. Antihero Paul Trilby is in unchecked free fall from his comfortable former life as a professor of English with a house and a spouse and, regrettably, two girlfriends. Now he inhabits a grim room at the Angry Loner Motel—a.k.a. the Grandview Arms—haunted by the ghost of his ex-wife’s cat. At his lowly TxDoGS temp job, he is stalked by pale-faced clerklings in short-sleeved white shirts who, he fears, live in the ceiling crawl space. Hynes is over the top—occasionally a bit too far—but his enthusiastic skewering of petty bureaucrats is a hoot.

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