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Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Good Review of The Beard

Daniel Clausen reviewed The Beard on Amazon. It's a pretty accurate review. Check it out! And check out some more reviews on Goodreads...

And Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Fistful of Feet by Jordan Krall

Here's my review of Jordan Krall's latest, Fistful of Feet:

Jordan Krall’s third release and first full-length novel is a must for spaghetti and weird western fans. I’ve never actually read a western novel but I find many of the movies to be plodding and dull to the point that most of the characters and plots are nakedly obvious in the first few minutes, thus beginning an endless barrage of the protaganist asserting his masculinity. Krall brings something new. The framework still draws heavily from the tried and true formula of the western film but is presented with such a love for the outre, weird, and fetishistic, that I found myself wanting to read on just to find out what happened next. And like the best spaghetti westerns, there are gems of existensialism like this: “Maybe there isn’t a Heaven and Hell like they tell you in church. Maybe you end up spending eternity riding on the back of a giant scorpion that keeps going in circles and you can’t tell him the right way to go because your mouth is full of dust.”

Calamaro is the hero in the book. He enters the trippy town of Screwhorse, Nevada, dragging a wooden donkey behind him (an homage to the film Django). Calamaro has a hazy past and an extremely chivalrous disposition. The town of Screwhorse is a wreck. It contains a legendary whorehouse where customers can come and indulge their sickest, strangest fantasies. The mayor is corrupt. The cattle have tentacles instead of udders. The drugstore sells a powerful hallucinogen. These things are just the beginning. Part of the thrill of reading Fistul of Feet is discovering the odd characters and situations and picking up on all the winks and nudges.

Many of the characters lack depth, which is one of my only real criticisms with the book. One of the reasons for this is that Krall introduces A LOT of characters. There are basically good guys and basically bad guys but nearly everyone is weird. This can sometimes make it difficult to keep the characters straight. Some of the chapters are little more than these odd characters gathering together to indulge their fetishes with little to no plot development. However, this book is definitely not intended to be any kind of character study. And while it does have a plot that advances at a decent pace it is a writer creating an homage to various film and pulp fiction genres. In this respect, I think Krall succeeds and creates a very worthwhile and entertaining piece of oddity. After reading the 2008 novella Piecemeal June and the novella collection Squid Pulp Blues, I had been wanting to read a full-length work from Krall and Fistful of Feet left me very satisfied and looking forward to his next book.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Review of District 9

My review of District 9 is now live at The Dream People.

Click HERE to read it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Like a 3-Legged Dog Dying of Cancer

The prologue to the actual story called, "A 3-Legged Dog Dying of Cancer," (forthcoming) here are some photos from the 2009 BizarroCon in gloomy yet still scenic Portland, Oregon:

Link to photos because there are just too many to post here...

Two announcements, entirely unrelated to BizarroCon, are coming soon. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I Was Thinking That Maybe...

I'm scheduled to be on The Funky Werepig, hosted by seductive Blood Lord Greg Hall, Sunday, November 8 at 9PM EST. Call in or listen from home or listen to the podcast at a time that's more convenient. I will probably mumble, then overenunciate, and use a lot of sentences that trail off without ever actually ending. Sound exciting? Here's the link:

The Funky Werepig

Saturday, October 10, 2009

You Probably Shouldn't Wear That

My novel, The Beard, is now available as a trade paperback.

Here's a description for it:

Seven-year-old David Glum watches as his grandfather is abducted by a legendary herd of elephants. Twenty years later, after failing to sell his novel to a New York publisher, David returns to his parents’ home to focus on growing a beard, a goal he feels sure he can accomplish. Once the beard reaches a respectable girth, uncontrollable things begin happening around him. His mother dies… maybe. His father might really be a man named Gary Wrench. David is sure of only one thing: his family is cursed. It could have something to do with an eternal flame his grandfather stole from a possibly imaginary group of people called the Nefarions. David and Wrench begin a surreal cross-country journey that might have something to do with saving the world. Along the way they pass through a number of absurd towns, meet some disagreeable people, and discover an America that is radically different from the one they thought they knew, a place where nothing can be accepted for what it seems to be. And all the while, the beard grows, gaining strength, leading them toward a distant island that most people think doesn’t exist…

If you're interested in reviewing it for Goodreads or Amazon or any other place, send the publisher an email at atlatlpress@yahoo.com and a link to any of your previous reviews.

Lastly, if you haven't pre-ordered The Sorrow King limited, do so now! This is its last week for purchase. Once the pre-order is taken down, it is no longer available. Although we do have something Amazing (that's right, it's capitalized) planned for the lettered edition. Something that may never have been done before.