Book: Letters to Rollins
Author: R.K. Overton
Why I Consider This Book Odd: Best collection of insane but utterly fake letters ever. I ordered this book not knowing the letters were fake, and throughout the book, I kept clinging to hope after hope that these letters were real. Mr. Oddbooks and I laughed until our bladders hurt upon reading the first letter from Carl Plaske. This book is meta and was meta before any of us were hip enough to use the word meta.
Type of Work: Humor
Availability: Published in 1995 by Rollins’ 2.13.61 Publications, this book is out of print. Worse, drop shippers on Amazon give the appearance that there are copies of this book to be easily had, making finding a copy an annoying experience. (Drop shippers are people who make listings for books they do not have, hoping someone will order it. Once they get an order, the drop shipper then desperately tries to find a copy of the book to fill the order, generally ordering a less expensive copy from someone else on Amazon and having it shipped directly to the buyer. Letters to Rollins is a circle jerk amongst drop shippers, each listing it and each trying to get it from the other when someone orders it. Mr. Oddbooks found this at a used book store when I realized I had been duped by a drop shipper who was relying on other drop shipper listings to get the book. Seriously, when you use the Amazon Marketplace, don’t buy from anyone with less than 97% positive feedback.)
So bear the above in mind if you click this link to get the book. Or better yet, send Rollins a real letter and ask him to get this book into reprints.
Comments: This is by far and away the most hilarious and random book I have read in a while. Based partially on insanity, and partially on the trope that Rollins released an album called “Nap TIme” in 1993 to capitalize on his extraordinary appeal to children, this book contains “letters” from an angry Christian woman, a strange 13-year old girl, a psychotic from Henry’s youth, a youthful offender who wants Henry to send him a letter dammit, an oily publicist, a man playing a one-sided game of Battleship with Rollins, a small child, a golfing instructor who gives Henry advice on how to avoid common golfing mistakes, and several others.
Utterly random, utterly insane, I cannot help but think this book was inspired largely by the real mail that Rollins actually received (Charlie Manson contacted Rollins out of the blue after seeing him on television). But for me, a diehard Henry Rollins fan, the true odd delight inherent in this book comes from the fact that people who do not know Rollins’ career may not know these letters are ringers and read this thinking it true. Mr. Oddbooks, who is not quite the Rollins fan I am, did not know even the most outrageous letters were fake until I told him. Not even the letter from KROK radio seemed to give it away.
Oh why can we not live in a world as random and hilarious as the one that peoples Letters to Rollins?
Best lines from the book:
From Kimberly Evans, a 13-year old “fan” who renamed Henry “Smokey” and sent him a pic of her cat, whom Rollins evidently kissed at one of his concerts (the girl, not the cat):
Are you mad I didn’t tell you my dad was a cop? I was afraid that if I told you you wouldn’t want anything to do with me or my letters. I know you’ve had problems with the police in the past, so I decided not to say anything.
I know my dad tried to raise a stink, and I’m glad the night court judge saw things your way…”
From Carl Plaske, a former classmate Rollins once punched who is going slowly but clearly insane, a state presaged by going berserk in an ice cream truck:
I guess I went kinda nuts. I turned up the volume and blasted that stupid theme from “Love Story” out those shitty speakers, scaring the neighbor kids and killing a dog as I drove 50 miles per hour down the sidewalks. I eventually hit a UPS truck. My license got revoked for a year but no one pressed charges. They were okay to hire me at Puppet Town, even if they’re idiots.
From Karl Plaske’s father, Joseph Plaske, after Carl went over the edge and started stalking Rollins to the point the FBI considered him a menace and Carl ends up institutionalized:
The institution where he is currently residing does not allow its patients to have writing instruments of any kind, so I have transcribed from his 12′ by 12′ rubber cell wall a letter he wrote in saliva and blood during the incident:
Henry Henry we all scream for Henry
Take his curly shoes and run from the cave.
If you have any insight into what this may mean, please contact me at the address above.
From his publicist, the man behind marketing the infamous “Buddy Ebsen” doll:
How is your hand? My face is still puffed up, but the x-rays showed no concussion, and I’m not going to press charges.
As your ex-publicist, I wanted to say that it has been a pleasure being your publicist, and I’m sorry we had to part under such less than satisfactory circumstances.
From the Project 213, a group of Rollins fans who have been abducted by UFOs:
I send you this letter primarily to let you know that we exist and are helping other Rollins fans know that they are not alone in their dealings with the growing alien tide.
Yeah, I know, there are some purists out there who will not consider this book odd, per se, and I say bite me. I want to live in the bizarro world of fake Rollins letters, which makes me odd, and the book is therefore odd by association.