Review by Joey Madia
I am going to be up front at the start: I grew up in the eighties and it is my position that there was no cooler time to be a teenager. Not for movies, music, clothes, and just plain being a kid. We didn’t have the Internet or cell phones, and video games were still confined mostly to arcades—which we had aplenty at the Jersey Shore—and life was just simpler and more pure. I still remember hanging out with friends and listening to new cassette releases like Def Leppard’s Pyromania and being completely blown away by the lyrics and guitars.
Although Psycho Hose Beast from Outer Space takes places in the early nineties, there were plenty of culturally cool things still going on. For instance, each chapter takes as its title that of a popular song from that time. Some of the songs are obvious in their relationship to the chapter and some—if you are inclined to do some lyrical detective work—take a little digging.
Given that the dedication is to “the boys from back home,” it’s clear that Gallant is as nostalgic about his early teen years in the nineties as I am about mine in the eighties. He certainly brings it all to life.
Psycho Hose Beast from Outer Space is part of a great tradition—from Stephen King’s Stand by Me to ET, Goonies, and Stranger Things (the last one coded textually in the book)—namely, middle and high school kids coming together to beat the Big Bad in an inspiring Coming of Age adventure. Continue reading