When a local drunk is mugged near the toxic Gowanus Canal by “a hulking, hairy beast who smells really bad,” Hank Kalabander thinks nothing of blaming the assault on the legendary Bigfoot. His sardonic crime blotter for The Hornet, a local Brooklyn rag, often gleefully recounts the tragedies that befall the borough’s dimmer residents. But when an upstart reporter from The Eagle, a tabloid paper, lifts his piece and implicates Bigfoot in two more attacks, the crimes become local news fodder and the hunt for the “Gowanus Beast” takes off. Pretty soon the G.B. is to blame for everything from murder and robberies to playground scuffles and a pie’s disappearance—and neighborhood watch patrols have taken to the streets. Alarmed by the populace’s response, Hank decides it’s his responsibility to disprove the existence of this menacing beast and, with the help of an old carny colleague, put an end to the growing hysteria.
In The Blow-off, acclaimed writer Jim Knipfel has crafted an astoundingly funny send-up of our current times—an intoxicating blend of sharp cultural references, wildly comical scenes, discerning commentary, and unforgettable characters.