Of course, there is no Travis Anderson, really. He's a character in Will Clarke's Lord Vishnu's Love Handles, a new-to-hardback book originally self-published by the Dallas author. It's already been optioned by Paramount Pictures to be a film directed by fellow local boy David Gordon Green. Unlike Barris' story, you don't want Travis' to be real. The story features grand conspiracies, remote viewing, murderous government employees, an albino wannabe-vampire, high jinks in the bowels of Disney World and a Charles Manson-worshiping, vegan monk bent on destroying the world to prove his religious deity aspirations.
But if that doesn't sound like your cup of tea (or vodka, in Travis' case), then part of Lord Vishnu's draw is that it's set (mostly) in Dallas. Lakewood Country Club, Tokalon Drive, Legal Grounds coffee shop, Eatzi's, Texas Stadium, Highland Park United Methodist, Stanley Korshak, Crescent Court and Highland Park Village all make appearances during Travis' crazy trip, plus there are veiled references to the former Forbidden Books location in Expo Park, Kalachandji's restaurant and the Hotel Santa Fe (pre-fancy remodeling into Hotel Palomar and Residences). And it's not a flattering portrayal: "Zombies with trendy hair cuts. A bunch of Banana Republicans on Prozac and cocaine. We're all hiding in this alphabet soup of status. Our IPOs. Our BMWs. Our Starbucks CDs. Our kids' high IQs."
Along with some cutting remarks about the upwardly mobile folks who look down their noses at us at Whole Foods, Clarke combines religious beliefs and iconography from several belief systems with modern popular culture, creepy costumed Disney characters, society's outcasts and the irony of "the good life" in a trippy tale reminiscent of Douglas Coupland's All Families Are Psychotic or Tom Robbins' Another Roadside Attraction.