Have you ever experienced something that felt as though it was conceived under either extreme intoxication or within some sort of fever dream? This is in no way meant as a critique, but rather seems the only logical way to explain how something like Stinker Lets Loose could ever have existed. This cult classic film from 1977 has been reborn in audiobook form by writer Mike Sacks and director Eric Martin after an unexpected find of the Stinker Lets Loose original novelization. For those of you who have never heard of this film get ready for the most hilariously inappropriate piece of culture that I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing.
The premise of Stinker Lets Loose is that Stinker must deliver a six pack of Schlitz beer to President Jimmy Carter, but of course this trip is anything but easy. Along his cross country journey the title trucker collects his band of travelers who include a chimp going through puberty, an orphan boy who only speaks in curse words, and eventually a beautiful mathematician who begins to win his heart. While most audiobooks include only one narrator, Stinker Lets Loose is performed like a radio drama with actors designated for each part, a country themed soundtrack, and a variety of background noises that pull the listener in.
I will admit that I had never heard of Stinker Lets Loose before this audiobook was released and I had no idea what to expect. The moment I started it I was struck by the time capsule like experience of this piece. The characters are crass, brash, and don’t care who they offend, but that is what makes this such an intensely captivating listen. I couldn’t guess what would happen next and was struck by how, no matter how bizarre the situations became, somehow it all made sense. Stinker is a sort of folk hero, who even when it seems as though he has failed, manages to achieve some sort of victory. In this adaptation Jon Hamm is Stinker and his twang and the signature laugh are perfect and Rhea Seehorn as Gwyneth, the mathematician and love interest, fits fantastically well. While Hamm is given heroic speeches, Seehorn is able to move between stereotypically breathy damsel in distress to angrily motivated and in charge without missing a beat. The audio book also includes a very interesting introduction about the movie, how this audio book came to be, and how those involved related to the original movie.
Stinker Lets Loose is part of a larger movie novelization audiobook adaptation project and I can’t wait to hear more from the creators of this work. You can find Stinker Lets Loose on Audible today and I can promise you that this sort of hilarity is like nothing else you have ever experienced.
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