Monday, September 17, 2012

At All Due Respect: Rob Kitchin

Rob Kitchin has an artful, funny tale with "Nearly Extinct." It's a highly unconventional heist tale with the true stink of desperation.

And it's got one hell of an ending.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Two Bizarro Books

I just completed two of the best books I've read in a very long time. Both are in my top five for this year.

Person, by Sam Pink, is the essential bizarro novel. Pink doesn't need anything weird--his bizarro is the absurdity of everyday life.

He dispenses with plot, content to follow around a man who lives an unremarkable life.

Everything about this novel rings true to me. Pink, in lyrical fashion, illustrates how Person thinks--flitting from one subject to another based on shallow emotional reactions, always afraid, always questioning--and this is the core strength of this book.

The other is Fill the Grand Canyon and Live Forever by Andersen Prunty. I'd read Prunty's short horror stories and thoroughly enjoyed them, but this, for me, was a cut above.

Our narrator spends a lot of time working on his MyFace page, gaining followers for his group that supports a TV personality who encourages people to, you guessed it, fill the Grand Canyon so that they can be immortal.

This book is hilarious. It's populated with weird and insane characters who embark on murderous rampages, ecstatic tooth-brushing, macabre cheerleading, and desperate attempts to make any sense out of anything.

If you want a real treat, check out Prunty doing a reading from the book here. I love the frenetic pace of this. Every reading should be this charged.  

Saturday, September 1, 2012

At All Due Respect -- David James Keaton

David James Keaton is one of those writers who I respect because he's always trying some crazy shit. If a writer's job is not to bore you, then Keaton always performs his job admirably. A while back, he wrote this story for Needle called "Shrodinger's Rat," easily the strangest story about prison I've ever read.

His story at ADR, "up down up right down left up," veers wildly from retro video games to celebrity worship to jerking off while driving with all the personality and insanity I've come to expect from his work. Go check it out here.