One of our recommended books is Me and Mr. Cigar by Gibby Haynes

ME AND MR. CIGAR


From legendary Butthole Surfers front-man Gibby Haynes comes a darkly humorous speculative YA debut about a lost Texas teen and his supernatural dog, and the power of found family.

Seventeen-year-old Oscar Lester is never without his dog, Mr. Cigar. The two have made a pretty good life for themselves in North Texas, organizing drug-fueled dance parties with Oscar’s best friend, Lytle Taylor. The only real grownup in Oscar’s life is Carla Marks, protégé of his deceased father and the genius behind the enigmatic IBC Corporation. (Oscar’s mom spends all of her time with her new boyfriend.) Carla doesn’t approve of Oscar’s nefarious activity,

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From legendary Butthole Surfers front-man Gibby Haynes comes a darkly humorous speculative YA debut about a lost Texas teen and his supernatural dog, and the power of found family.

Seventeen-year-old Oscar Lester is never without his dog, Mr. Cigar. The two have made a pretty good life for themselves in North Texas, organizing drug-fueled dance parties with Oscar’s best friend, Lytle Taylor. The only real grownup in Oscar’s life is Carla Marks, protégé of his deceased father and the genius behind the enigmatic IBC Corporation. (Oscar’s mom spends all of her time with her new boyfriend.) Carla doesn’t approve of Oscar’s nefarious activity, though his parties provide an ideal environment to test-run some of IBC’s more freakish technology. As for Oscar’s older sister, Rachel… she’s been gone for the past five years, having fled after Mr. Cigar bit off her hand.

But Oscar knows that his dog is no menace. Mr. Cigar is a loyal protector: a supernatural creature that can exact revenge, communicate telepathically, and manipulate car doors and windows with ease. So when Rachel—now twenty-two and an artist living in New York—calls out of the blue and claims that she’s being held hostage, Oscar sees an opportunity to make things right between them… at least until Carla Marks warns Oscar that Mr. Cigar’s life might be in danger, too.

Suddenly Oscar finds himself on the run with his dog and his best friend. Together they race north to save Rachel and to flee the mysterious evil forces after Mr. Cigar. Ultimately they discover that this dual quest might untangle Oscar’s own strange life and reveal the true nature of Mr. Cigar’s existence.

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  • Soho Teen
  • Hardcover
  • January 2020
  • 256 Pages
  • 9781616958121

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$18.99

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About Gibby Haynes

Gibby Haynes is the author of Me and Mr. Cigar, credit Daniel EhrenhaftGibby Haynes is a musician, visual artist, writer, and filmmaker best known as a founding member of the Butthole Surfers, whose outrageous concerts spawned a global cult following and whose albums have sold millions worldwide. He lives in Brooklyn with his family. Me & Mr. Cigar is his first novel.

Praise

“I felt like I was diving into a YA written by Thomas Pynchon. It was a dang blast!” —Geoff Herbach, bestselling author of Stupid Fast

Me and Mr. Cigar is so wild, so mind-blowing, much fun to read, that I almost forgot it was fiction! (It is fiction, right? Mega-giant tech companies aren’t really in cahoots with the government, right? Flying alien creatures aren’t really mistaken for lawnmowers . . . right? Please, tell me this is fiction!) Fast-paced, brilliantly funny, irreverent, clever . . . AND it’s illustrated? This is the quintessential teen read, and ipso facto a must-read for adults, too!” —Garth Stein, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain

“It takes a book as hilarious, bizarre, profane, and heartfelt as Me & Mr. Cigar to truly convey the surreality of coming of age as a teenage boy. This book hit this former teenage boy and new dog owner right in the heart, by way of the gut.” —Jeff Zentner, Morris Award–winning author of The Serpent King and Goodbye Days

“In the book world we call it ‘magical realism.’ In the music world they call it ‘psychedelic rock.’ Gibby Haynes is very good at both, which he proves with his brilliant first novel Me and Mr. Cigar. This novel has it all: glimpses into Haynes’s Texas childhood and teen years, a touch of his distinctive surrealism, and a heartfelt story which makes it a very good read.” —Blake Nelson, author of Girl and Recovery Road

Discussion Questions

1. Much of Me & Mr. Cigar takes place on the road, with Oscar at the wheel. In what ways does Oscar attempt to control his own destiny throughout book? What is he running towards—or running from?

2. The novel’s Prologue and Epilogue are both written from an omniscient third person point of view, while the plot itself unfolds from Oscar’s first person point of view. How do these bookends frame the story, and how do they contribute to its overall mood and feel? Why do you think the author chose a more detached perspective for the novel’s beginning and end?

3. Oscar lost his father at a young age; his mother is largely absent; his sister only contacts him when she needs help. How has the family loss and isolation affected Oscar? How has it informed his relationships with other characters in the book?

4. On page 47, Carla Marks confesses to Oscar that she can talk to cicadas. How and why might this supernatural ability endear her to him?

5. Technology plays a huge role in Me & Mr. Cigar, in ways that run the gamut of catastrophic to comical. The Itty Bitty Corporation’s inventions often appear to defy reality. On page 188 at the top of Chapter 71, Oscar reflects on the power of the invisibility aerosol: “Despite the evil that can be perpetrated with such a device, I feel oddly confident that I am doing no wrong.” Do you agree with Oscar’s assessment of his own actions? Do you think there an underlying message about technology in the book?

6. Cigar’s backstory is never fully explained. What are his possible origins? Does the text give any clues?