easier to read than a Nutrisystem label

Van Kirk’s books are easier to read than a Nutrisystem label. And let me go out on a limb here and say, more fun, too. Except for the List of Ingredients.

Marie Osmond

refreshingly simple-minded

I, for one, defend your right to use small and inconsequential thoughts throughout your books. Who needs big ideas when a bunch of little ones come pretty damn close in getting your point across? Then again, I wasn’t sure what your point was. But I’m positive you had one lurking in there somewhere. You are refreshingly simple-minded.

— Henry Kissinger

Talk about going green!

I just finished reading Wormwood Politically Correct. What a book! A veritable step-by-step guide to getting rich. How come my business manager never got me into pitching solar panels on TV? I could have been saving the planet while making a bundle. Talk about going green! And lunching with Al Gore at Delmonico’s. Oh no, not me. Instead, I’ve been forced to tout fish oil and prostate pills. And eat at my desk. How ordinary is that. Oy vey.

Larry King

Seriously insightful.

I’ve got to hire this Van Kirk guy to write my next biography. His spelling is fantastic. I love a good speller. So old school. But modern cross-cultural too, because he’s got a white dude in blonde dreadlocks working undercover. Seriously insightful. Hey, with my hair rapidly disappearing, maybe I should go with some dreads. And that might inspire Big Phil to do some under-the-covers work as well. Be still my heart.

Queen Elizabeth II

I think if I had read Wormwood Beyond Dead before I wrote Heart of Darkness, I wouldn't have bothered. I mean, even the book covers are similar.

— Joseph Conrad

A refreshing manly approach to what women want.

I was moved to tears by the author’s approach to feminism in Wormwood Beyond Dead. I think I went through an entire box of tissues. Boy, did my eyeliner run. And I had only gotten to Chapter Two. A refreshing manly approach to what women want. We need more female writers like this guy. 

— Betty Friedan

The story is so delectable, the people so tasteful

Just finished Wormwood High Crimes and a Bunch of Misdemeanors. The story is so delectable, the people so tasteful, I had to put the book down more than once and make myself a bologna sandwich. I’m thinking of retitling The French Chef, my first book, to The Chef from Wormwood. It sounds so much more appetizing. 

— Julia Child

a deep shallowness

I originally thought Hog Heaven was deep. Really deep. But now that I think about it, maybe not so much. In fact, no, it isn’t deep at all. The correct word is shallow … but wait, I need to be fair, maybe that’s too extreme. How about this—a deep shallowness. Yes! I nailed it! 

— Jackie Collins


I found Wormwood Beyond Dead to be downright, well, you know, uplifting. Certainly, not that dark Swedish stuff I come up with. Talk about moody. Maybe I should pay a visit to the place. Raise my spirits. Note to self; call travel agent ASAP. 

— Henning Mankell

Van Kirk deserves his own statue in Havana.

Of course, my favorite book of all time is Das Kapital by Karl Marx. I zoomed through it when I was young. What a fun read with zany characters and lots of laugh-out-loud gags. I’m thinking Hog Heaven is right up there with it. Corrupt hog farmers, sneaky Chinese communist businessmen, chain saw art—a host of role models for the younger generation. Van Kirk deserves his own statue in Havana.

— Fidel Castro

You talk about a hottie.

Van Kirk, I like to think of your Wormwood High Crimes as a perfect example of degenerate western art. It was thoroughly disgusting. PS: If the twenty-something character in the story, Anna Anastasia, is based on a real person, would you introduce me to her sometime? You talk about a hottie.

— President Hassan Rhouhani

breathtaking in scope

I was amazed by the enormous, yet completely unfulfilled talent that nearly emanated from each page. Hog Heaven is breathtaking in scope and fortunately not much else, or I would have been too tired to complete it. And that was only Chapter One.

— John Updike

It’s rich and exciting and loaded with twists and turns.

I can always tell a great book just by reading the title page. And Hog Heaven didn’t let me down. It’s fantastic. It’s rich and exciting and loaded with twists and turns. I always say, if the title page doesn’t grab you, forget the rest of it.

— John Grisham