By Josh Payong

Innovative as ever, illustrious wordsmith and Grinnell alumnus Bob B. Largebacon (B.B.L.) entices his audience with an exciting new premise: Strip Frisbee.

The rules are simple: drop the disc, drop your clothes. As degenerate as it may sound, B.B.L. manages to weave a complex tapestry of passion, betrayal, and most importantly, team spirit in his most recent 879-page bestseller. And sex, albeit to a relatively conservative extent compared to his other works (for reference, see “Fucking 10/10s During 10/10: A Sensually Short Story,” “She Vivek on my Rama till I Swamy,” or my personal favorite of his, “How The Grinnch Stole Grinnsmas”). 

Through this novel, B.B.L. makes insightful commentary on the nature of sport and its pivotal role in supporting societal change. The metaphor of shedding one’s clothes and of struggling as one comes closer to not only a physical, but also a spiritual victory in finding oneself, is made woefully obvious by the end of this ardent bildungsroman. He also uses this work to promote his advocacy for the nudist movement: an inspiring group of activists looking to do away with the tremendous volume of greenhouse emissions produced by the clothing industry.

Few have the talent to come up with such thought-provoking and symbolic subject matter, but even fewer have the courage and skill to bring it to life. I quote one of his many short passages that brought me to tears, in which the French protagonist “Boebert Boyce” comes to terms with his failure as a teammate, only to find himself recognizing the tantalizing love he holds for his fellow Grinnellephant:

 

I looked into his eyes to signal for him to make the cut, but found my hand frozen in place. My hand, with which I caressed him only the night before, had not complied with what my brain knew was the right play – the only play. It had not complied because my heart was solely and entirely focused on the deep green of his luminescent orbs. Green, I recalled, like the grass on Mac Field when he first bumped into me, clumsy as ever, on the first day of NSO. Why does that scene keep replaying? Why does it plague my every waking moment, COVID-style? Why–

“Make the throw, dipshit!” Joe interjected, the clatter of his cleats careening in my direction.

And I did – or I tried – and I failed. Just barely too high. His middle finger tipped the disc on its way to the ground. Turnover. In accordance with the rules, Joe reluctantly removed his jersey. His abs, mon cœur…Joe’s abs. Joe Rosenterrain’s abs. The glistening array of musculature belonging to…to the love of my life. In my realization, I gasped – and fainted. The last thing I heard before it went dark was his deep, concerned voice, with a unique inflection that fell gently on my hot ears. If that was death, I’d have welcomed it, because it meant I would never have to worry about losing him first.

Forgive the massive extract—I simply refuse to publish this review without making B.B.L.’s genius known. His literary prowess is only rivaled by the brightness of his luscious red locks and his large, manly figure that makes one wish to be embraced in it. But I digress. 

This scene takes place in the 34th chapter – page 587 of the hardcover copy (available via Wattpad). Largebacon has mastered the art of the “slow burn.” In this behemothian work of art, B.B.L. manages to retain the audience’s every interest. Who could ever bring themselves to look away from the charming duo? The shy, gentle Boebert and the rough, protective Joe bring forth an entirely new “enemies to lovers” dynamic, never before seen in the vast world of fictional narrative!

B.B.L.’s descriptive writing is also indescribably captivating. His use of vivid imagery and repetition makes his novel feel almost like a poem or a song. Whilst reading, I felt as though I was on the field with Boyce in his confused, hot-and-bothered state of mind with the spring sun beating down on my sweaty skin. Hell, I might have fallen in love with the rugged Rosenterrain myself. My girlfriend very much has an issue with this.

The foreshadowing of the last line of this scene is also utterly immaculate. It augurs the heartbreaking death of Rosenterrain on their journey to obtain the perfect weapon to win Nationals: The Ultimate Frisbee. Having sacrificed himself so that Boyce could upend the Disc Demon’s reign, the novel comes to an abrupt end after having obtained the weapon as the conclusion to the Nationals never mattered to the voice of the written work: it was experiencing triumph with his perpetually shirtless husband at his side.

Beautiful. There is no other way to put it. My only nitpick is that it could’ve used more phallic imagery, but that’s just my personal preference.  

9.987893/10.