Valley of Day-Glo is the story of Broadway Danny Rose, a member of a confused Iroquois nation who has forgone traditional names for names ripped off IMBD. Except, they’re not getting them off IMDB, because that doesn’t exist anymore, you know, with the bizarre ecological apocalypse that has destroyed Western civilization and all. (Purportedly a nuclear war, but I don’t know, the landscape seems unlikely.)
Apart from living in a wasteland, Broadway Danny Rose suffers from erectile dysfunction, an overbearing mother (appropriately named Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolfe) and that age old problem, doofus protagonitis.
You may have missed the lecture on doofus protagonitis in your survey of English literature. It is the syndrome suffered by protagonists in satires. Think Don Quixote, think Gulliver, think Yosarian. You see, they tend to be unable to control what is happening to them, though they may be able to demonstrate their humanity to the reader as the author messes with him. Danny is one of the latter kinds of doofusi, and this is one of the things that will keep you turning the page — you just want to see how this whole thing is going to turn out for Danny. You really hope it’s going to be okay.
Nick DiChario is a talented writer, and he deftly takes us through his apocalyptic tale, which is at times absurd (the jacket cover claims it is in the tradition of Douglas Adams and Kurt Vonnegut, but I think more of the latter), bizarre and entertaining.
A warning: don’t waste valuable time trying to decipher the traditional Iroquois names. They’re not all puns. If they ever do a second edition, they should put the author’s note at the front, and save us all headaches, eyestrain, and the suspicion that we’re idiots for not being able to figure it out.