There IS no Ben Peek.
Ben Peek is a fiction.
And I hate no fiction save Pynchon's, and some pundits might remark here that Ben Peek is no Pynchon.
I disagree. In fact, Ben Peek IS Thomas Pynchon.
Pynchon's new book, which I shall refrain to name, sucks potatoes, as it has from the minute he began working on it, twenty-three years ago. It was at about that time that Pynchon created his only redeeming fiction - the identity of Ben Peek.
(Some scholars believe that Pynchon lifted the name from the grave of a two-headed carny child who died in an unfortunate elephant-bathing incident, and who was called 'Peeky Ben' for his ability to play hide and seek with himself, but no documentation supports this).
Pynchon realized that his previous works, which also sucked potatoes, had nevertheless made him a literary star. Worse, he knew that any future efforts would be expected to be in the same vein, qualitywise, and indeed, would HAVE to be, to retain his star status in the literary community.
Sadly, he also knew he had it within himself to write fiction of exceptional quality.
It was this contradiction which caused him to become a recluse, until he realized that a form of salvation was at hand - he would make HIMSELF a fiction.
And so, in the last two years, as preparation for the pending release of his new blockbuster crappy doorstop, he began seeding the short fiction markets with submissions from "Ben Peek".
And some poor unsuspecting editors BIT, not realizing they were dealing with Thomas Pynchon.
And then, in recent days, he released his new 'Pynchon' book to the expected fanfare - but he also made his biggest mistake: he also released a book as BEN PEEK: TWENTY-SIX LIES/ONE TRUTH. And that's when I caught on.
Like the cigarette-smoking man, he hoped to assuage the kind of guilt one feels ordering the assassination of heads of state by writing for the pulps - but then he overreached himself, and allied with a respectable publisher of quality and taste. Wheatland Press. And they published his book. And it's as you might expect from Pynchon - except it's REALLY, REALLY GOOD.
And frankly, that pisses me off, because the general reading public should be afforded the chance to read TWENTY-SIX LIES/ONE TRUTH instead of the other Pynchon dreck. But no - that's not how publishing works, you say.
Well, I say we turn the tables on Pynchon. I say we get everyone we know to order 'Ben Peek's' book, and make his name bigger than Pynchon's. Trust me - it'll serve the bastard right.
Twenty-Six Lies/One Truth, written by Ben Peek, illustrated by Anna
Brown, cover by Andrew Macrae. Buy it from Amazon, buy it from Wheatland
If you want to order other things from Wheatland Press, that's okay, too. Deborah Layne is a very nice woman, and she's always been totally candid about being Amelia Earhart and Richard Burton's granddaughter.
Go order the book. Order two.
Screw YOU, 'Peek'.