In my last review of alt lit from the anon right world, I lamented that there seemed to be a word count cap to creations. No one was putting out a full, unified novel. Out just before the holidays in ‘22, Dan Baltic answered with Nutcrankr.
It is a fun read and worth a purchase. It is a book that uses and plays with anon right tropes, language and viewpoints. Spencer Grunhauer sounds like an anon on a forum or Twitter. His profile fits the urbanite right wing anon struggling to cope with the modern wasteland and aware of its degeneracy. His love of buxom Jewish women is a wink to the audience.
While Baltic sketches an autistic anon’s profile well, I found his treatment of the normie and left wing characters fair. The entire sequence of preparing for the Pussy Hat march in DC and subsequent calamity that unfolds feels possible. Progressives have become cartoon characters in real life, and rather than overplaying his hand, Baltic makes it feel realistic.
Part of that is the oddball sex lives the characters engage in with no limits yet incredibly defined and restricted. Baltic’s passage about Grunhauer and his zaftig paramour engaging in simple spanking but it not going well is fantastic because it reflects the idiotic explosion of BDSM in the last decade by couples doing it to be part of something new but not naturally going with the mood. The couple debates force and follow through and being a good dom as if they agreed to a contract to begin the sexual adventure. Formalizing what can be great, spontaneous acts mixed in the natural course of a sexual encounter does ruin the fun.
I’ve seen it noted elsewhere that the book resembles A Confederacy of Dunces but this is unfair to both novels. Nutcrankr’s Spencer Grunhauer does not have a harmless, autist attitude a la Ignatius Reilly. Both protagonists are oblivious to others’ intentions and misread social cues. They differ significantly though. There are also points where Grunhauer can mimic the vocabulary and feign the concerns the urban liberals he swims amidst very well. He can lie and copy to manipulate, which is different from Reilly, who seemed more autistic. Reilly was impoverished and living with his mom. Grunhauer lies to and manipulates his parents into subsidizing his urban life because he can’t let go of the delusions. Reilly cannot hold a job. Grunhauer does until his side project is exposed.
“The Project” is a manifesto the protagonist works on that will solve all modern problems and bring about a perfect state for man to fulfill his potential. How many anons talk about the end stage state of government or society but are hazy on the how to get there? It’s a funny subplot and has ramifications for Grunhauer at work and home.
This points out a nice feature to this book. It is an /ourguy book but it could be read by anyone. The protagonist is not glorified nor is it even a positive portrayal of an anon. The ending is a nice twist and a little unexpected considering the first scene. It’s another wink to long time anons. Dan Baltic managed to write an entertaining story that takes you along for a ride and let’s you get comfortable diving into its world. It’s a real book, Jack, and finally, someone has done it!
2 Comments Add yours
Reblogged this on Calculus of Decay .
Interesting. It seems Dan Baltic has succeeded in doing at Terror House with its weak paper what that grifter Lomez failed to do with tens of thousands of dollars and his gold plated books. And hey look at that, it’s under 20 bucks, no need to spend 400 dollars while pretending you’re a patrician. Nice.
Just goes to show Terror House Press is the true home of the dissident right literary scene. The past three books you reviewed (this one, The Longhouse, and Mencius Moldbugman’s book) were all Terror House books.