brothercyst: HALF-BAKED RIFFS ON THE SOUL

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

HALF-BAKED RIFFS ON THE SOUL

The Publisher's Weekly review of Midnight Picnic is out. It's on this page (you have to scroll down) but here it is in full:

Midnight Picnic Nick Antosca. Impetus (www.impetuspress.com), $15.95 paper (163p) ISBN 978-0-9776693-6-3

In Antosca's second novel, a campy page-turner set in contemporary backwater West Virginia, 22-year old Bram becomes obsessed with a murder after a child's bones are discovered in the woods behind his home. The ghost of the dead boy, six-year-old Adam Dovey, soon appears to Bram and urges him to help get revenge against Jacob Bunny, the introverted, kind-hearted, ex-con alcoholic who 23 years ago drowned Adam. Bram's initial reluctance gives way, and before long, Bram torches Jacob's cottage, killing him. Just about then the narrative begins to fall apart, as Bram and Adam wander through a netherworld exurbia in pursuit of dead Jacob's soul. The further they go, the campier the novel becomes, accented by half-baked riffs on the soul and journeys into strip clubs and back alleys that read like an ersatz hybrid of David Lynch and Brian Evenson. It's a demented little novel that'll appeal to readers into weirdness for weirdness's sake. (Oct.)

I take issue with the adjective "campy" and I wouldn't say it's "weird for weirdness's sake" but otherwise, that seems about right. Pleasing. "Page-turner" warms my heart. As does "demented little novel." I do try to write demented page-turners.

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Laura left New York. But only to go back to law school in Philadelphia. Be well, Laura.

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I'm going back to LA this weekend. I'm only going to be there for like 40 hours. Meeting some people. Discussing some stuff. And hanging out in the sun. Yes.

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They are building the tents for fashion week in Bryant Park. This is right by my office. My friend who works in fashion said she could "give me style." I have no style. I wear a black t-shirt and jeans almost every single day. She also said that boxer shorts are terrible and boxer briefs should be worn by men. I was shocked. I checked with Laura and she agreed. Diala, who is now in Connecticut, was less emphatic but also advocated for boxer briefs. Are these women outliers? Are they crazy? Offer opinions, if you like.

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I have a story in issue 3 of GUD. It's called "Soon You Will Be Gone and Possibly Eaten." This blogger wrote something nice about it. ...Wow, I just got payment by Paypal from these people. I didn't know that was going to happen. Awesome.

4 comments:

BLAKE BUTLER said...

i think people are quick to call weird things 'weird for weirdness's sake', they assume if the image doesn't nail itself to something and is out of the box, it must be just there to show off, which definitely happens a lot in a certain kind of writing, but i think is blind to just through the drape over

excited to read the book.

good hanging out this past weekend nick

N A said...

it was great to finally meet you, man.

ERIN NEWBY said...

it’s several months since i read it, but i don’t recall getting the impression that bram is ‘obsessed’ with the child’s murder. if anything, he’s semi-bewitched into the act of retribution, then the subsequent dealings with adam are periphery to his own agenda/exploration. or so i thought. “demented little novel” is delightful. “campy” is peculiar.

there’s nothing wrong with weirdness for weirdness’s sake.

a snug undergarment is preferable, especially on – forgive me – the slimmer gentleman.

Little Miss Nomad said...

If you get a chance, might I recommend visiting the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. It's this tricked-out gorgeous cemetery where they show screenings during the summer--and it's in the middle of the grungiest neighborhood. It's very strange. I think you'd like it.