Worth reading 😎

A unique, funny memoir about what it was like to grow up as a 90’s kid!

Synopsis

The King of FU is a magically realistic poetic memoir about growing up in America in the nineties on the cusp of the age of the internet. It is an illustrated coming-of-age tumble down a rabbit hole of demented 90s nostalgia. Born with horns and covered in fur, our protagonist--after escaping the clutches of the umbilical cord--navigates through family tribalism, supervisors, white-gloved Sheriffs, bullies, sex, suicide, dead prisoners, drugs, porn, middle school, and Jesus; all in search of answering one of life's greatest mysteries: what is the point of adults?

  The King of Fu is a memoir written in poetic verse about what it’s like to grow up in the 90’s. I’m not a huge reader of memoirs but The King of Fu caught my eye because of the way it was told. It was such a unique way to tell a story about your life and I enjoyed the easy, flowing writing. 


The illustrations complimented the writing. I loved that they had an almost child like quality but were dark too - fitting perfectly with what was being said. 


I am a 90’s kid myself so it was fun to read about some of the things I remember from my own childhood. I loved that the author included small explanations as to what things are like, for example - 

“Landlines 

(Antique things

Attached to a wall

That made noises 

Like ring ring

And tried to sell you things)”


Serious things like the death of a pet, bullying, suicide, and drugs were told with humour weaved in. It gave a light hearted touch to what was at times quite a dark tale.  


One thing I struggled with was trying to keep track of who was who. The author used names like ‘Supervisor’ for mother and ‘the insurance underwriter’ for father (I’m not even sure if I have these right). It was a nice touch but it wasn’t always clear who was who and it was confusing.


I would recommend this book to anyone who grew up in the 90’s and would like to reminisce about the time, someone who is interested to see what it was like to be a 90’s kid, or perhaps anyone who is looking for a unique, funny story about someone’s life. 

Reviewed by

Books are my passion and I have had a fascination with words from a young age. My blog is a mixture of topics however my main focus is on books and writing, I also write about chronic illness and mental health.

Synopsis

The King of FU is a magically realistic poetic memoir about growing up in America in the nineties on the cusp of the age of the internet. It is an illustrated coming-of-age tumble down a rabbit hole of demented 90s nostalgia. Born with horns and covered in fur, our protagonist--after escaping the clutches of the umbilical cord--navigates through family tribalism, supervisors, white-gloved Sheriffs, bullies, sex, suicide, dead prisoners, drugs, porn, middle school, and Jesus; all in search of answering one of life's greatest mysteries: what is the point of adults?

Umbilical Chords


It was
Six-thirty-two
(post meridiem)
When the eviction notice
on my Supervisor’s
womb came due
(the female one)
something called a
Computer Science Major
The White-Gloved Sheriff
kicked in the door
and
Pulled me
(eight pounds
six ounces
two hands
two feet
two testicles
a shriveled pecker
two horns and a lot of hair)
out of my Supervisor’s vagina
They said I was an
“easy delivery”
because of something
they’d later call
claustrophobia
Once they snipped my umbilical cord
and the end of my pecker
One of the Blue Deputies
took me away
to be thrown out
My post-birthing Computer Science Major
chased the Blue Deputy
cornered her in the hall
and said
“Give me my fucking baby”
That moment
set a paradigm
For my relationship
With The Computer Science Major
(I’m not sure where the male one was)

§

The things I remember from being
A baby are
nothing
I ate
I drank
I pooped
I vomited
I slept
and called nipple-suckling
“La-La”
(Not much has changed)
I suffered from chronic ear infections
and so
I cried continuously
I was a baby

§

Months after birth
The Supervisor called Insurance Underwriter
held me above his head
and made faces
so I’d laugh
I laughed so hard
I vomited into
his open mouth—
That moment set a paradigm
For my relationship
With Insurance Underwriter

§

I turned one
On the cusp of the nineties
A ten-year funeral for things like
Landlines
(Antique things
attached to a wall
that made noises
like ring ring
and tried to sell you things)
and things called
Door-to-door Salesmen
(Antique things
that smiled a lot
and made noises
like ding dong
and tried to sell you things)
It was a confusing time

§

The Computer Science Major only ever wanted
A girl
She tried once and got a boy
Three years later I came out
Seven years later
She tried again
And got a boy
At which point
She promptly gave up
And
in her grief
had The Insurance Underwriter neutered
And so
you have my Tribe

§

One of my life partners
(The older one)
was called K
During the first year of my life
K would drag me from
room to room
by one of my horns
Then
When I wouldn’t meet his standards
of what a playmate should be
he’d go to The Computer Science Major
and ask
when I’d be returned to The Hospital
(A place where people go to be born
and also
die
Which is when you can’t open your eyes anymore
and they put you in the ground
so children can’t see you)
I know
It’s confusing
This set a paradigm
For my relationship
With K

§

We had one prisoner at first
They called it Puddles
who lived up to her name

We called it her
so The Computer Science Major could have
allies in her war
with the
“The House of Penises”
but I knew it wasn’t a her
because it had a penis
It looked like a partially
melted pink crayon
when she was happy

§

Once I was bored
I decided to take a closer look
At Puddle’s penis
I stared at it
(A hairy little nub
that came to a wet and pointy end)
For a few minutes
Before working up the courage
To touch it
She bit my face
I told The Computer Science Major
She said
Puddles was jealous
but
I’m not a prisoner
I thought
Right?

This set a paradigm
For my relationship
With other things’ genitals

§

Instead of imaginary friends
I invented a kingdom called
FU
Filled with things that looked like me
And where things made sense
I was King
I ruled FU with a Toddler-sized
Iron Fist
in my underpants
in the cottage
we rented
from The Computer Science Major’s Supervisor
Even as a furball I knew…
I was meant for greatness

§

When I was very young
The Insurance Underwriter left for a month
When he came back
I asked
Why?
The Computer Science Major just looked sad
and said nothing

§

While he was gone
A different prisoner they called Squeaks
died
(Puddles had to be thrown out
The White-Gloved Sheriff stuck her with something
My Supervisors cried
Even K cried
It was weird)
They pulled me out of class
The Computer Science Major
said that Prisoner Squeaks
Had tried to escape
and so
was killed
by something called a
U.P.S. Truck
Controlled by a thing that used to
pee in beer bottles
and leave them in our yard
The Computer Science Major was sad
So I was sad
I went with her
to throw Squeaks away
We brought her to a place called
The Recycling Center
We put Squeaks in the trunk of the thing
The Computer Science Major called The Jimmy

Squeaks was starting to smell
When we pulled up
a big fat thing
with a broom on his face
scooped Squeaks into a trash bag
and flung her over his shoulder
We followed him
There was a crater in the earth
forty-feet deep
filled with
hundreds of
lumpy
trash bags
Broom-Face spun around—
just once—
and flung Squeaks
into the pit
She landed on a pile of other prisoners
and rolled to a bottommost corner
making a crinkle sound
as she went
I noticed a few horns
Sticking out of some bags
Broom-Face gave me a funny look
Then turned to The Computer Science Major
“That’ll be fifty bucks”
She cried
So
I cried
She gave him fifty dollars
We drove home crying

§

I learned that some Supervisors
Were just there
To take up space
They called those ones adults
Allegedly
they had once been children

About the author

Benjamin Davis an American author living in Russia whose works include The King of FU, The Babushka Society, Death at a Preschool Christmas Party, and Flash-365. He currently writes a culture column for Russia Beyond and loves to work with artists. view profile

Published on May 25, 2018

Published by Nada Blank Press

10000 words

Genre: Magical realism

Reviewed by

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