The publisher of my novel The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus has included it along with seven other books in a box set, and they're having a sale! There's some other classics in there including Crazy Carl's Fat On The Vine, so that's a good deal for someone who's looking for a holiday gift or just a spot of reading for herself or himself over the winter. A set of ULA trading cards including one of me is thrown in to sweeten things even further. I imagine they make good bookmarks.
I have begun to post a few chapters of Blog Love Omega Glee on Textnovel.Com, a website that allows members to follow serialized novels on their cell phones. Reading novels on cell phones is very popular in Asia, so the folks behind Textnovel are hoping the activity catches on here. So if for some reason you want to read the new novel on your cell phone, check out the site!
Frank Walsh of the Underground Literary Alliance was nice enough to offer to run an ad for the new novel, so I whipped one up. Here it is: (You can find a better copy of the ad at Wredfright.com since Blogger reduces the size a bit here). I haven't read all the other novels this year so the tagline is a bit of puffery, but I am fond of the novel so it very well could be. If you're fond of the novel, then feel free to post this ad wherever you want, and just link it to http://wredfright.blogspot.com with my thanks. One thing's for certain, it's the cheapest novel of the year since it's free with computer and Internet access. It'll probably be collected down the road in print, ebook, and audiobook (though I couldn't tell you when that will be) and it probably won't be free then so enjoy the wonders of blog serialization while they're here, and please use the ad to share it with friends. Tooting my own horn! Toot! Toot! Oh, and if any bookstore owner takes offense at the tagline, then you're welcome to sell the print copy of my first novel The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus, which is in bookstores!
This is the second novel by Sean, and I think I like it even better than the first, Drinks For The Little Guy, which I liked a lot. Set in his Yoknapatawpha County-like setting of real-life Cocoa Beach, Florida, the novel has some recurring characters, also like Faulkner, from Carswell's other work show up such as Helen and Lester, but most of the novel focuses on Danny McGregor, who has to deal with the guilt of an ex-girlfriend's death, and his own living past the youth when he expected to die from living fast. Publisher's Weekly complained that the novel lacked "emotional depth", but you know PW loves Harry Potter and lots of terrible mainstream fiction so maybe there just wasn't enough dragons in Train Wreck Girl for their taste. I found the novel engrossing myself. Filled with humor, suspense, and genuine philosophizing about what to do with one's life, it read like a combination of Charles Bukowski and Jim Thompson. You know, a drunk being tossed into a film-noir, sort of like The Big Lebowski, except with not as many White Russians. A great read!
I wrote The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus based upon my experiences playing in garage rock bands in college towns in the 1990s. According to a very nice email I received from a reader, things have, for better or worse, remained essentially the same for people playing in garage rock bands in college towns in the 21st Century. Here's the email:
Subject: I read your book and fucking loved it! To: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Thursday, October 2, 2008, 12:41 AM
I don't know if you get emails from people often (hopefully you do) (EDITOR'S NOTE: NOPE! SO YOURS WAS A TREAT--THANKS!) but I'm not usually one to write such letters. However, I read The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus and wanted to tell you how awesome that book was. It was the closing day of our beloved local record store and everything was half off. My band even played a set of all covers of bands the two owners loved (Archers of Loaf Guided By Voices, Pixies etc.). Well I found your book on a shelf with a few other books and I guess it was really the picture of the drum set in the bathroom that stood out ... so on a whim I bought it.
I don't know if I could have read that book at a better time in my life. Me and four other guys were all seniors in our last two months of college in a shitty rented house surrounded by nice houses occupied by less than nice neighbors. While no real bands were ever started there was always a drum set and amps in what we dubbed "the couch room" where our hypothetical bands might have one practice and never play again.
But honestly your book summed up my college career. Playing in bands that never went anywhere and just meeting crazy people (a few of them probably saw it the other way around). In one band we practiced under the addition that was put onto our drummers house. We had to load in our equipment through a cabinet sized door and the only connection it had to the inside of the house was a little trap door under the kitchen table. The ceiling was so low I had to make sure my head was positioned between support beams while still watching out for nails sticking out of them. (EDITOR'S NOTE: GOOD WORK SURVIVING! GEORGE JAH OR ANOTHER OF THE EMUS WOULD HAVE PROBABLY GOTTEN IMPALED IN SUCH A SITUATION!)
This letter is already getting much more long-winded than I had intended so I'll end here. Luckily on our last day at the house we just put our fridge on the curb and told our landlords to fuck off after they refused to give us any of our $3,000 security deposit back for things that were already wrong with the house. Seriously though, your book was like the validation I needed for most of the shitty things I put up with this past year renting a house and depending on four other people to be responsible.
So I just wanted to say thanks and keep up the awesome work.
Sincerely Patrick Gartland of South Jersey
PS This book seems like it could easily turned into a hilarious TV show, has anyone ever shown an interest in the idea before? (EDITOR'S NOTE: YES, BUT USUALLY THEY WANT TO MAKE AN EMUS MOVIE BEFORE THEY SOBER UP AND CHANGE THEIR MINDS. I THINK EMUS WOULD WORK WELL AS AN HBO SERIES MAKING EACH CHAPTER AN HOUR LONG EPISODE. THEY COULD DO TWO TEN EPISODE SEASONS FROM THE BOOK ALONE, THEN A THIRD SEASON FOLLOWING THE BAND ANTIGONE, GEORGE, AND TED FORM AFTER THE EMUS, THEN THEY SHOULD CALL THE SERIES A WRAP BEFORE IT GETS STALE. TELEVISION PRODUCERS BANKRUPT OF IDEAS BUT NOT BANKRUPT IN MONEY, PLEASE GET IN TOUCH WITH ME.)
Thanks for writing Pat! You made my day! If any readers of the blog want to experience what Pat discusses, then I have plenty of copies of Emus for you! Unless I can convince the government to bail me out by buying my unsold books!
The Associated Press recently ran a story that featured Horace Engdahl of the Swedish Academy, who select the Nobel Prize in Literature, explaining why no American has won the prize in years, nor will be likely to win one for years. His comments are similar to those I made a few years back when I wrote an article for the Underground Literary Alliance, explaining why American authors shouldn't expect to win a Nobel. I wrote a follow-up article a year later. I was going to make it an annual tradition, but frankly it was too depressing, because nothing changed in the literary world. Maybe now that a member of the Swedish Academy is also pointing such things out, literati will take notice. I'm not optimistic about that though because so far they all appear to be complaining about Engdahl's comments, and claiming he doesn't know enough about American literature. No, my fellow Americans, it's you who don't know enough about American literature. That's the problem. Good books go unnoticed while bad books get awards here. No wonder the Swedes think we're nuts.
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