Excerpt from the novel The Boy in the Yellow Leatherette Portmanteau by Gralie Bohe:

"On the night the Rabbit Hill roadhouse burned, my father started his evening memoir with extravagant and erroneous quotations from Bacon, interspersed with sere details about his horses, then finished with a slow bittersweet monologue mourning our gilded encumbrances during the seismic years of flood, volcano and the strawberry monkey."

After two years marooned alone on a small island in the Tasman Sea, Yost came home thin, brown and hairy, with the first line of a novel in his head. That was the whole of it, nothing else had been imagined (except for the names of two characters, Ottenwalder and Nigh Poyens, and Yost was not yet certain if Nigh Poyens was a person or a place). On the island, Yost had finished one novel, plus most of its sequel, plus the fragments of two other books. One would have been a monograph on the artist Theophil Eshley, the second would have been a cookbook of vernacular Cretan cuisine. All painstakingly written in his head, often in delirious detail. All lost fourteen minutes before Yost had been rescued, erased by the brute efficacy of a rap on the head deliverd by a surprised pirate. Who soberly considered for fourteen minutes the problems of a living, unconscious Yost against the advantages of a dead one, before deciding in favor of the first option. A decision that was almost rendered moot by a coma that lasted twelve days, from which Yost awoke in a hospital in Melbourne, Australia, with the names Ottenwalder and Nigh Poyens lodged in his memory, but little else.

His father had never read Bacon nor owned horses. Yost was defying the first rule of advice the manifest experts always gravely intoned to aspiring writers: "Write what you know." Yost had once been famous as a writer, but not for his novels, of which the first was yet to be published. He had been the creator of a cartoon that had gained enough notoriety to become a dubious cultural icon of the nineties. His fame had declined sharply in the eight years since the last panel of Geranium Lake Properties had been published, yet his celebrity retained enough currency to generate international gossip about his disappearance. Upon his return to civilization, Yost was annoyed to discover that people all over the world believed he had been living in voluntary retreat from the oppressive vanities of modern existence, except for those who believed he had fled to escape prosecution for the murder of his former wife. There was a small percentage of the world's population who believed he was dead, while another smaller percentage believed he was an alien from another planet. The smallest percentage were the sixteen people who believed in a complicated mysticism that made him the reincarnation of the dead son of Countess Elizabeth Báthory and Torquato Tasso.

Andrew Dansby of the Houston Chronicle wrote that Wm. Yost was "equal parts Gary Larson, Edward Gorey and E. E. Cummings" and reading Geranium Lake Properties was like "watching a car accident or ducks shitting". In response to Dansby's article, Craig Ferguson of The Late Late Show on CBS said GLP was like watching a movie called Godzilla Meets Little Nemo Meets Nostradamus Meets Raymond Queneau. In response to Ferguson's comment, Umberto Eco in a BBC interview said: "When I want to relax I read essays by Engels. When I want something more serious, I read Geranium Lake Properties--in the French translation."

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