A one-time budding academic who for existential reasons drops out of Colombia University to work as a hot dog vendor, Mortimer Taylor Coleridge doesn’t even like pop music. Nor is he familiar with VH1, the channel on which he first comes across Gwen. But it isn’t long after the encounter that he’s carefully considering No Doubt’s lyrics and patroling message boards for clues about his ain true love's character. It is in the former moments that first-time novelist Evan Mandery’s spoof of celebrity worship really soars. At one point, a portion of a verse from “Six Feet Under” serves as the inspiration for a theory on the meaning of life. Later, a grammatical error in the beginning of the hit “Don’t Speak” prompts Mortimer to revise in a hilariously highfalutin manner. Suffice it to say the brainiac replaces the line “We used to be together” with “Erstwhile sidekicks.”
Evan Mandery reads on Friday night along with John L. Sheppard as part of Timothy Gager’s Dire Literary Series at the Out of the Blue Art Gallery, 106 Prospect Street, Cambridge.