"Can you survive in the sea of animal fat, bitch?"
Ocean of Lard is a bizarro parody of the classic "Choose Your Own Adventure" series of books. It was written by Carlton Mellick III and Kevin L. Donihe, and published by Eraserhead Press in 2005. It is presented as seventeenth in the "Choose Your Own Mind-Fuck Fest" series*, where the reader is invited to "choose from a bunch of different endings and shit". This book is definitely aimed at a more adult audience than the usual CYOA books. One certainly needs to possess a twisted mind and a casual relationship with vulgarity to even sit down with this one, so consider yourself appropriately warned.
The first page introduces you, the protagonist, as a child molester on the run from the police in the back woods of Wyoming. While avoiding the cops you happen upon a secret pirate town settled on the coast of an ocean made entirely of lard. With this, you are presented three options: join the crew of one of the two ships docked at the wharf, or remain in the town and try your luck. Wacky adventures ensue, full of rotting pirates, walrus-men in bondage gear, an island with a treasure trove of golden sex toys, and a lot of characters dying in interesting ways.
Where this could easily have been a half-assed parody of the genre, instead the writers are very inventive in their storytelling. They manage to create the same atmosphere found in CYOA books, keeping a bookmark on one page while frantically flipping through all of the choices presented. The world the authors present is full of disgusting little pits, and they are happy to shove us into them face first. And, as this is the focus of what they were trying to accomplish, they very much succeed.
Overall, the book is worth the few hours it takes to track all of the plot strands. It is gross and engaging and exactly what I expected.
* Originally, Ocean of Lard was the only book in this series. In 2010, it was joined by Choose Your Own Mind-Fuck Fest #3 - Super Giant Monster Time!