Brian Costello - The Enchanters vs. Sprawlburg Springs [book] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Brian Costello

The Enchanters vs. Sprawlburg Springs 📕 (2006)

Featherproof Books

You may know him as the drummer for the Functional Blackouts. You may know him as a columnist over at Terminal Boredom. You may know him from "The Brian Costello Show with Brian Costello," the world's first and only live talk show that operates out of the Empty Bottle in Chicago. You might know him as an instructor at Columbia College. Now, be prepared as I introduce you to Brian Costello, novelist.

Back for the first time, Costello's debut novel, The Enchanters vs. Sprawlburg Springs lives up to its title fully: The novel is about a garage punk band (the Enchanters) and how they become a local phenomenon and do battle with an entire upper-middle class suburban community (Sprawlburg Springs). Fetching, isn't it?

Told from the point of view of Shaquille Callahan, the recently signed on drummer to this motley crew (notice the spelling; yes, this was a phrase before the band took it as a name), this book follows closely the trials and tribulations that occur when starting a volatile rock band where it doesn't really belong. Includes when the band all starts wearing football helmets and fake-tanning their skin to a burnt sienna with lotion. From their first living room show to selling out the biggest venue in town (aptly titled "Latent Republican Hipster Music Club World"), there is not one band more enjoyable to read about.

All in all, the book reads a bit more like a commentary on all things suburban and band starting, as long as you ignore the entire plotline. Fun fact: The novel started as just a bunch of rants about Orlando, close to where the Bri-man grew up. Now it's a delicate novel involving a squid cutter/drummer and his best pals -- the large, simple-minded bass player; the tall, lanky, sinister guitar player (note: Sinister not included); and the riotous, ballsy singer, Renee, and you better bet your balls that she is a love interest for Shaq.

I couldn't say better things about this book. I picked it up when it came in the mail one night, and I ended up reading the whole thing through and going to sleep at five. It was that compelling. It was ravishing. It made me want to bore a hole through 174 of its 193 pages and just have sex with it (note: Please feel free to buy a copy and send it to me as a present, 'cause, is missing some parts on a few pages). Five hours was all it took to read, if you're a fast reader like moi, and how much of your time is that? Nothing! So what's your excuse for not reading it? Eh? Worst case scenario: You didn't like the book.

So here's the deal: If you didn't like the book, I will personally come to your house and give you a refund (note: Refund comes in the form of a knee to the balls). What have you got to lose (besides the chance to one day be a father)?

Okay, I'm through with you. Get out of my sight, and order this book.