The Kinfolk: Cult of Sex and Cheese
by Josh Hickman
Polyester Press Books

"Some left the sessions on a spiritual high . . . Others left utterly confused as to who exactly Papa Dilly was, who they were, and even where they were."

Dillman Cleveland “Papa Dilly” Bradford is a charismatic leader, conman, peddler of holy hogwash, and notorious fraud. Skilled in the ways of carnal pleasures and cheese, Papa Dilly and his wife Mama Milly lead the Kinfolk, a small group of lost, lonely souls looking for acceptance, love, and, in some cases, full access to cheese. Cheese is the manna of Kinfolk. It is their communion, livelihood, and way of life. Everything that happens in the small group of Kinfolk revolves around Papa Dilly’s magical abilities with curd. When news of Papa Dilly’s lactose liturgy begins to surface, the media takes notice, and the degenerate drivel of the Kinfolk’s messiah leads to journalistic exposés. As attention grows, Papa Dilly decides the group must leave Los Angeles for the small town of Lemon Curd, California, which he deems easily exploitable and refreshingly remote.

Hickman’s satirical look at cults is a fun read filled with allusions to many of the cults that have gained notoriety for their unorthodox beliefs and behaviors. For lovers of satire, there is a wealth of innuendos and nods to cult leaders such as Jim Jones, Charles Manson, and L. Ron Hubbard. His use of cheese as the cult’s center of worship is hysterically satirical as one of its alternate meanings is “a lie.” Though the subject of cults is serious, one never gets the impression that the author is making light of the subject. In fact, it is the ridiculousness of centering the cult around cheese that makes his statement on cults the more serious. Hickman has tapped into the essence of the problem: People looking for answers will sometimes follow anyone who confidently exudes the impression that he has them. Hickman’s novel is a great read that grabs the reader from start to finish.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review of Books

Return to USR Home