The Myth of Wile E
Highest Ranking: #1 in Humor
An idealistic poet refuses to budge from the last parcel of land a developer needs to acquire in order to build a shopping mall. (Literary satire with pop culture references and environmental themes.)
The Myth of Wile E. is a riff on the modern obsession with fame and acclaim, as well as a mediation on the artist's place in the modern world, as seen through the eyes of a naive poet who is made simultaneously pathetic and heroic by the pursuit of a singular goal.
In this novel, we meet an assortment of eccentric monomaniacs, from mushroom hunters in search of a legendary truffle, to birders pursuing a possibly-extinct bird, to competitive Duck Stamp artists, to "the World's Foremost Living Statue"...and even a very stubborn spider.
Meanwhile, our narrator--a terrible, yet persistent, poet--battles a ruthless land developer who's determined to acquire the poet's humble property, in an escalating battle of wills that spirals out of control when the media gets involved.
With these quirky events as a backdrop, we gradually learn of the misfortunes that befell each member of the poet's family in their various misguided quests for glory. We also learn why money makes the world go flat, why talent is a white elephant, and what it means for parents to love their children "to pieces."
Some of my influences are Richard Brautigan (especially), Christopher Moore, Kurt Vonnegut, Tom Robbins, and George Saunders, so if you like any of them, I hope you'll enjoy this, too.