Nine Kinds of Naked

One can almost smell the patchouli wafting off the pages of Nine Kinds of Naked , a neopsychedelic satire from recently transplanted Austinite Tony Vigorito . Channeling the spirited humor of Douglas Adams’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, Vigorito suspends the rules of time and space to create an alternate reality in which a tornado pounces on Normal, Illinois, and propels half a dozen citizens—such as pastor J. J. Speed and housewife Bridget Snapdragon—through portals where their names and roles change with dizzying speed. Tossed like dice between epochs and identities (today an FBI agent, tomorrow a crusader!), their various incarnations finally converge 25 years later in the shadows of a “hypercane” that is stalled off the coast of post-Katrina New Orleans. Despite the sogginess of his rambling sermonettes on love and oneness in the universe, Vigorito’s is a crisp, sardonic voice. Harvest/Harcourt, $14

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