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Look Who’s Morphing

My brother Hank had adjusted to our family’s migration to Australia in a different way to me. He was morphing into members of bands like Mötley Crüe, KISS and Poison. Although his appearance changed greatly as a result, it was not his long, teased hair nor his very tight denim jeans nor his heavy use of stage make-up that concerned my parents. Instead, my parents had begun to worry about the debauched lifestyle that he was leading. He was staying out all night to indulge in sexual promiscuity, substance abuse, fights with his band mates and property damage. My parents declared that, even though immigration to a vastly different country was a major change for any person, Hank had taken the idea of morphing much too far. (p. 140)

After months of waiting on Inter-Library Loan, I finally got my hands on Tom Cho’s book Look Who’s Morphing, a collection of short pieces of fiction that is at once comical and philosophically deep. Cho engages with themes of identity, pop culture, sexuality, and race, among others. As his semi-autobiographical main character changes shape, from Godzilla to Whitney Houston’s bodyguard to a “cock rock god,” his literary form also changes; while most of the book comprises of very short short stories, there is the occasional revamped nursery rhyme or piece of non-narrative prose to add interest.

If you can find it, I’d highly recommend Look Who’s Morphing if you’re in need of a good literary laugh. Readers outside of Australia can get it in e-book format on the Kobo Bookstore.

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