||Jim Krusoe's bittersweet and absurd novel GIRL FACTORY succeeds at balancing the bizarre (girls frozen in yogurt, genetically engineered dogs) with the deeply felt longing of the human heart. Krusoe, a literary descendant of Donald Barthelme, writes fiction that manages to be clever but not precious, sincere but not sentimental. This odd confection of a novel, about a 30-something yogurt shop clerk clumsily trying to play hero, is surprisingly affecting, artful, and human.
||There's a disturbing secret in the basement of a strip mall yogurt parlor, and Jonathan, the mostly clueless clerk who works there, just wants to fix things once and for all. But things don't work out quite the way Jonathan intends ... or do they? Filled with memorable characters, including two dogs (one too smart for his own good) and a retired sea captain, this unsettling darkly comic novel is an exploration of memory, desire, and the nature of storytelling. More disturbingly, Girl Factory raises questions about the ubiquitous objectification of women, the possibility for change, and the nature of freedom.