Lau’s spare prose hovers frustratingly and exquisitely above the action as she patiently floats us past each tiny misery Leen faces in the fight for Lotus Fusion. Her gift for writing accumulative insanities creates the same dizzying effect as a good cleaning.
Gunk Baby is not so much a contemporary critique of present-day ideologies...as a dissociative meditation on a world that has come to feel increasingly cruel and meaningless. A stoned, affectless claustrophobia prevails ... Gunk Baby is fascinated with transcendence and breaking free from the hellscape; her prose combines the languid torpor of Michael Bible with the unease of Yoko Ogawa’s more macabre work.
Gunk Baby is a riveting story ... While this book does fit the traditional structure of a novel, Lau maintains her flowing prose and evocative language. Staying within the noir tradition of her previous book, Lau interweaves her characters’ mundane thoughts and wandering observations with harsh realities of violence and unresolved trauma. Gunk Baby is a beautifully unique novel which will be loved by both new and old fans of Lau’s work.
Imaginative if underpowered ... Lau makes some good points about consumerism and ably captures the mood of disenchanted youth, but the slow pacing and underdeveloped supporting characters make this feel aimless. Lau has plenty of talent, but while this starts strong, it falls apart at the end.
A maximalist caper ... A hyperconscious maximalism that occasionally overwhelms the reader with the equity of its attention. There is so much to see in this novel that the reader is sometimes at a loss for where to look ... Funny, bold, capacious, and more than a little exhausting—this book mirrors modern life.