Jerry Stahl, author of the narcotic memoir Permanent Midnight and CSI episodes including one in which someone dies after an acid-laced enema, has a sardonic, witty voice that leaves the reader torn between laughter and tears (much like that acid-laced enema would). In Stahls latest novel, Pain Killers, pill-popping ex-cop Manny Rubert tries to determine whether a prison inmate is really Auschwitz Angel of Death Josef Mengele. Hard to put a funny spin on that one, isnt it? Nope. Just throw in one bulimic black widow and some hookers for Jesus and youre golden. Actually, says Stahl, the comedic aspects of the book are not about the Holocaust itself. Its a humorous treatment of the way people treat the subject. Im sort of a barnacle on the ass of those million-dollar Nazi sausage books out right now, Stahl quips.
Sat., April 4, 3 p.m., 2009