"I was having lunch with Dexter DeWitt. This in itself was a questionable activity on my part." So begins Code Green, a novel by Greg Jenkins, whose anti-hero Chip Stone engages in quite a few questionable activities.
Stone is a male nurse who works in a psychiatric hospital and has almost as many behavioral issues as the residents he cares for. These include DeWitt, a cultural critic gone bonkers; Tim Valentine, who snacks on light bulbs; Philip Nolan, who contends (correctly) that he's a character in a book; and Glinda Moon, an anorexic witch.
As the violence at his workplace intensifies, the confused Stone sets out on a desperate but comical odyssey to find his estranged wife - and himself. His wanderings take him through a twisted netherworld where he meets old friends, new enemies and one highly unusual sister-in-law. He discovers that the line between the sane and the not-so-sane is more gossamer than even he had suspected.
With over-the-top characters and gaudy, entertaining prose, this engaging work offers a bumptious blend of humor and pathos well-suited to the uncertainties of the new millennium.
Greg Jenkins is also the author of Stanley Kubrick and the Art of Adaptation and Night Game: Stories. His fiction has appeared in numerous literary journals, and several of his plays have been produced. Currently living in Maryland, he is Professor of English at Garrett College.
It's got a little violence, a little kinky sex, a fairly weird point of view, some funky songs, and a bunch of laughs. This book covers a lot of territory, freaky territory at that, and it moves pretty fast.
-- W Miller
This is a very funny book, laugh-out-loud funny in places. The characters area all so eccentric, and yet they're quite believable too. . . . Aside from "Catch-22" and "A Confederacy of Dunces," I can't think of any novels that can hang with "Code Green" for pure (and peculiar) humor. . . . All in all, a very unusual and riveting piece of writing.