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Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
American Cheese Across the Void by James Allenday is a multi-genre, unusually formatted book that speaks about a lot of things. It has something for everyone, from poetry to cartoons, to film scripts, to recipes, mock advertisements, and a lot of things in between. As one reads through this colorful, beautifully illustrated book, one feels they are dropping into the mind of the author, a mind that sweeps through a maze of thoughts, things, and events, exploring realities that stare modern readers in the face. The author makes a mockery of modern mass media, featuring advertisements that defy the run-of-the-mill publicity readers encounter every day. This is a book that can be read in any order for each chapter, each thought, each fragment stands alone, evoking a cultural sentiment, a bias, or an element experience with sheer brilliance.
In this collection of “all forms of art” -- exotic and uncommon images, cartoons, paintings, and nuggets of thoughts punctuated by stories that are personal and hilarious -- the reader finds a new world to navigate, a world that seems strangely familiar, a little lost in the past, but one that carries the roots of the eccentricities of a culture that can’t be shrugged off just that easily. It is voluminous, but in each page, there is something that catches the reader’s attention and puts a smile on their face — a humorous line, a recipe to try, an image that is captured from a unique angle and that seems to have a very long story behind it, and a lot more. The writing is unique, defying the conventional style of storytelling and the phraseology, characterized by condensed thoughts, is indicative of the author’s gift for brevity.
American Cheese Across the Void is the kind of book you want on your lap as you sit in a coffee shop, waiting for an appointment. You will not notice the passage of time as you go through this artistically designed, highly creative, and very humorous book. There is culture buried in these pages and a kind of humor that today’s fast-paced lifestyle has stolen from most of us.