I can’t think about Independence Day without my brain switching over to Aimee Mann’s song “4th of July.” Such a heartbreaking and beautiful tune, full of memory and regret. If you don’t know it, you’re missing out.
We all sit around cookouts and light fireworks, but the 4th of July simmers with an emotional undertone, doesn’t it?
There’s a new book out, titled The Fourth of July, that I recently reviewed for Rain Taxi. It’s a fun story, one that takes the chaos of the holiday and spins it like a screwball comedy. I compare it to an old Saturday matinee, and I think that’s a pretty good description. The men are loud and obnoxious. The women are nags. The rug gets pulled out over and over. People learn. Others don’t. Mix-ups are a common occurrence.
If you’re interested, you can find my thoughts right here.
Though I’ve only been on Numero Cinq‘s masthead for a few months, I’ve actually (sporadically) published there for a couple of years. And now I have my very own archive page on the site. Check it out.
My review of Sam Lipsyte’s story collection, The Fun Parts, is titled “Laughing at Despair,” and that kind of sums up—in my mind, at least—the career of the author. He has such a gift for examining people living on the fringe, these desperate, lost souls. Yet what makes Lipsyte’s fiction so great is the fact that it turns these lives into uncomfortable comedy.
You can read my thoughts on the book over at Numero Cinq.
“Louis Armand’s Breakfast at Midnight crackles across the page like a cloaked drummer keeping time on a hi-hat cymbal in some broken down, forgotten nightclub on the wrong side of the tracks …” So begins my descent into Prague’s literary underbelly. Armand’s novel is quite fantastic, in a make-you-want-to-take-a-shower kind of way, and you can read my thoughts on it over at Rain Taxi.
Back in January, I talked with Canadian writer Alexander MacLeod about his story collection, Light Lifting. Our chat went off on several tangents: running, former VP candidate Paul Ryan, train tunnels, commitment. Anyway, you can read the transcript for yourself over at Numero Cinq.
My thoughts on Richard Ford’s wonderful novel, Canada, are now up at Numero Cinq Magazine. Click on through to take a peek.
I just learned that my review of Brian Doyle’s story collection Bin Laden’s Bald Spot is in the latest print issue of Rain Taxi. You can see the issue’s complete Table of Contents (and order a copy of your own) right here. I dug Doyle’s book. The narratives are short, zany, and potent.
It feels kind of funny, though, announcing a review of a book titled Bin Laden’s Bald Spot on September 10th.
I wrote about Dan Chaon’s latest, the short story collection Stay Awake, for Rain Taxi. My piece appears in the latest print issue, which came out last week. Chaon’s book is (spoiler alert) pretty excellent. It’s full of ghostly visions, falls from ladders, foster kids, mysterious messages, a parasitic conjoined twin head, a brain-damaged ex-husband, and, well, people trying to stay awake, both physically and metaphorically. Read all about it by picking up a copy of RT right here.
Drunken Boat just posted my thoughts on Lynne Tillman’s excellent story collection, Someday This Will Be Funny.
Click here to take a look.
My thoughts on the novel The Double Life of Alfred Buber appear in the latest print edition of Rain Taxi Review of Books. Click here to see the table of contents. You can also buy a copy.
Second, my good friend Sarah Braud just launched a strange little website called Roadkill Obituaries. Her husband Dave takes the pictures and the two of them imagine the life stories of various dead skunks and rabbits. I contributed a piece detailing the sad end of one Charles Opossum. Read all about Charles (assuming you’ve got a strong stomach) right here.