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Reviewed by Rich Follett for Readers' Favorite
Who Killed Randy Ratphink?: The Postmortem Adventures of a Fried-Brain Hippie by Jerry Flu is a wildly unconventional karmic whodunit - a sort of astral film noir, as it would play if scripted by a fugitive beat poet with a chip on his shoulder, a bad case of wanderlust, and nothing to lose. Randy Ratphink from Rootworm, Illinois - our protagonist - wakes up in a void, realizes that he has been murdered and, in typical gumshoe fashion, replays the memories and events in his life, determined to learn the identity of his killer and settle the score. The resulting cinematic journey is a raucous, irreverent, madcap romp full of colorful characters, zippy dialogue, and enough pop-culture references to delight every hippie, geek, nerd, and fantasy junkie on the planet.
In a saturated market where very little seems fresh or new, Jerry Flu’s Who Killed Randy Ratphink?: The Postmortem Adventures of a Fried-Brain Hippie is wildly inventive and quirkily ebullient - the proverbial “something different” for which persnickety savants have long been searching. Randy Ratphink is truly an Everyman for the disenfranchised: at long last, hippies have an antihero to call their own. Who Killed Randy Ratphink? is, therefore, cause to celebrate on many levels.
As with any good mystery, the merest reference to the ending would only spoil the fun; suffice it to say that our hero Randy, with the help of a Yoda/Shakespeare hybrid psychopomp named Budd, completes his monomythic journey and discovers that endings - in death, as in life - are never what they seem. Who Killed Randy Ratphink?: The Postmortem Adventures of a Fried-Brain Hippie is an edgy, winning modern epic not to be missed. A rare and captivating story - absolutely delightful from the first word to the last.