Plainclothes Naked
by Kristine

“Stranger still, the clit—no Jesus!—the clit seemed less like a man in a boat than Don King on a yacht. The departed, there was no other way to say it, sported a stubby miniature penis. With hair.”

That’s right. Know what else? The President has a happy face tattooed on his testicles. And jujubes will help a grieving widow recover from murdering her husband with 40 watt light bulb glass and Drano in his cereal.

stahl_stiller.jpgAnd so you have just a tiny bit of the crazy ass stuff going on in this week’s book, Plainclothes Naked by Jerry Stahl. Jerry Stahl is a former television writer, writing for shows such as CSI, Alf, Moonlighting, Northern Exposure and many more. He’s also written other novels, one being Permanent Midnight which was made into a movie starring Ben Stiller.

The cast of characters in this novel are quite the unique gathering. There’s Manny the former heroin addict and current well-endowed detective. Then there’s Tina, the formerly mentioned murderess who offed her annoying husband for being too nasal. Mostly it was an accident. She usually empties the cereal bowl before eats it, but that morning, oops, she was distracted.

When describing Tina, Stahl says, “Tina had that Faye Dunaway thing. Faye before the surgery, when her cheekbones were still sharp as can openers and she looked like a feral gazelle”. That just strikes me as cool.

Next we have McCardle, the black Dean Martin who killed a gay guy with a shovel and was recently on America’s Most Wanted. Mac’s partner Tony Zank, the crack addicted violent one who hangs his own mother out a four-story window and drops her ‘cause she won’t tell him who took the picture he hid under her mattress in the nursing home.

The picture? Oh, that’s the picture of the President squeezing his nuts to make it a “biobrain” with the smiley face tat smack in the middle of the focus. As George W grins goofily, the Mayor of Pittsburgh has her face within licking distance of the Presidential sack.

plainclothes_naked.jpgThe Mayor of Pittsburgh, Marge, happens to be Manny’s ex-wife. The picture happened to have been nabbed by Tina, an employee of Seventh Heaven nursing home.

Manny, being the former heroin addict, is now addicted to Tylenol 3 with codeine. He uses fake names to get prescriptions at various pharmacies around town, different names for different locations. He’s a jaded fella, popping pills to get through his day, resenting the fact that he’s a cop and driving around in a car that belonged to a former cop with a fat ass. Said fat ass causing a large divot in the seat that Manny sinks into.

Another man wandering through the pages is Chief Fayton of the Upper Marilyn PD. Manny’s boss. Fayton however came from the DMV and has never actually been a beat cop or worked a case. You wouldn’t know this however if you looked at the staged photos lining his wall. Even photos staged to make it appear he was apprehending perps and was involved in a hostage crisis.

He has every cop and detective report everything to him and they all wonder why one hand is always under his desk. They start thinking he’s whacking off under there, and from the direction of this book I wouldn’t have been surprised to find that to be true.

He’s a narcissistic, double-crossing, self-involved man who is really just waiting to strike it big with fame and fortune when someone buys and produces his screenplay he’s writing about being a Chief in a small town. Maybe get Benjamin Bratt, James Woods, or Tom Selleck to play him. To everyone else on the force he’s pretty much a joke.

Have I mentioned there’s a decapitated reporter and a very large Hispanic woman? Oh, yes, I did mention her. She has the hairy clit. Carmella that is. She’s the supervisor at Seventh Heaven and she finds herself accompanying McCardle and Zank unwillingly to a skeezy Indian motel where she turns the tables and gets them to reenact a certain scene from Deliverance. I’m sure you can think of the one.

Throughout all of this is a budding romance between Manny and Tina. From the moment he walks into the crime scene, aka, her kitchen, he’s struck by a deep fear that makes his hair stand on end when first seeing Tina. Love at first sight according to him. Right off the bat he’s covering for her and saying the death of her husband was suicide, that he was a “foamer” and Tina gives him the photo to hold onto.

Manny keeps going from crime scene to crime scene as McCardle and Zank try to find the photo of the Commander in Chief’s wrinkly basket and leave behind a trail of bodies.

The interaction between the various characters, how they communicate is at once outrageous and hilarious as well as sorta gross.

Jerry Stahl has a flowing style that moves along with a bit of noir detective novel style tossed in. Like saying a guy pulls back a blanket to reveal “seven decades of thigh” and “he had luck like other men has psoriasis” and another, “hair so riddled with dandruff it looked like confetti”. Lots of that. Maybe sometimes too much. Like I could imagine Stahl pausing at his typewriter, trying to think of witty analogies and metaphors to pepper his paragraphs.

“A chance, if you don’t end up behind bars or tied off for the lethal fix, you’ll end up in bed with a bent, beautiful, edge-of-your-seat genius female who sees right through your eyeballs to the dark room in the back of your brain, the one you never let anybody into because you didn’t know it was there….”

Stahl has a great turn of phrase. He paints pictures with his words, clearly he’s talented. And seriously screwed in the head, but in a good way. I like the way he thinks and I like the avenues he takes us down.

There were a few turns and twists, a couple little surprises, but mostly a different sort of book than I’m used to and I was glad of it. I was happy to find something that everyone isn’t talking about around me. Perhaps this is because the book isn’t new and I didn’t hear about it the first time around.

This is a weird and strange journey. One that includes barf and feces and penises and anal sex and really old mom vagina.

This book was one of the most creative I’ve read in a long time. I’ll eventually get another of his books, Perv – A Love Story, ‘cause who can resist such a title?

This guy is raunchy and demented and the sort of writer who says what he wants in the most colorful way he can imagine.

Then there’s Auntie Big’n. How many levels of wrong is it that McCardle, as a child, would have to wash his Auntie’s “lady parts” while watching the CBS Evening News? Seriously, the stuff in this book is just twisted.

There’s quite a bit more I could say about this book but I think you should just go get it yourself. I’m sure you will find something in there you haven’t come across before, even if it just references to overweight shaved lady parts.

Kristine likes her men raunchy and demented. And she shaves.



while really old mom vagina isnt a selling point for me, the rest sounds pretty interesting :) I'll add it to my summer reading list



This is definitely my next read. Can never get enough old mom vagina.

That's not really true. But I am going to read it.


Sounds hilarious! "Biobrain". I love it.


First, let me say that I love reading your reviews.

Second, I intend to add this book to my reading list. It sounds just too good to pass up.


I saw the movie with Ben Stiller (Wow, Ben Stiller plays a convincing junkie) and had planned on getting some of Stahl's stuff on our next book spree at Barnes and Noble. Thanks. Now I know which one to start with.


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