Comming soons

Probably the most exciting news on my side of the pond (as a writer friend of mine would say) is that my wife has now become pregnant with our first child. A testament to the fact that, although I really tried, I was unsuccessful in destroying my fertility with drug and alcohol abuse. The coming creature has decided to attempt entrance into this world in June of this year. For those of you who are under the belief that 2012 is the end and blah…blah…blah. My child may be the one who will herald this end of days. If this is the case, I wish to offer my sincerest apologies and condolences to the pets that you will leave behind.

Although I have found myself completely inept at maintaining a website through regular updates, I have convinced myself that that just means that each one of my posts is that much more special. I have made resolutions to be more vigilant in providing my readers with more posts in the new year. Of course, I had also made a resolution to quit drinking this year. However, since I received several bottles of very good scotch from various friends over the holiday, this has become increasingly unlikely. Therefore, I wouldn’t put too much stock in me posting more either.

Drugs and Pancakes is off at my editor/friend/antagonist and will be given the attention that is deserved as long as I visit him often bringing food and beer. There are many chapters on this site for your viewing pleasure.

I’m also in negotiations with TheToneKing.com to become a regular contributor with my very own article series where I will inundate the world with my knowledge of all the horrifying things that are in my head.

A short story that I wrote titled Uncanny Valley will be available in early February for purchase with your brand new Kindles through Amazon. Many of my fans are already familiar with this story, but I will be making minor revisions for the new format. Following that, two other short stories will also be made available later in the year for you to bathe in.

So, in surmation:

1- Baby

2 – More posts (maybe)

3 – Drugs and Pancakes

4 – New Stories!

5 – Bathing (maybe)

Take care loyal followers and don’t let certain doom curtail your otherwise sunny dispositions.

 

 

Not Enough Room: A Bastard’s Review of Room

If my earlier review of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo didn’t do it, this is the review that’s going to piss everyone off. A friend offered me the book Room to read and I’m going to repay the favor by cutting the breaks on her car.

Maybe I’m going overboard. Room does have some good qualities. A portrait of captivity is painted through the playful and innocent eyes of a child. Ugh… sorry. Some bile started coming up with my Oprah-like synopsis.

The novel’s greatest strength and most irritating feature both occupy the same space in the head of a five year old boy named Jack. The world that he lives in, inside Room, is exactly that. Initially, there is no outside for the boy and there is nobody except for him, his mother, and their captor (Old Nick). Of course Old Nick is a dick which is not lost on Jack who is a child so quick. (sorry)

Anyway, Jack’s staggering idiosyncrasy that has resulted from isolation from the rest of the world seems to be generally limited to two things:

First: His lack of use of definite articles (Thus the name “Room” instead of “The room” or “A shit hole of a room” or “That fucking room”)

Second: He’s still breastfeeding at the age of five. (As his mother explains: Why the hell not?)

Of course, once he is let out of Room, he has problems adjusting, but so does every goddamn kid on his first day of school.

Sorry.

That was a bit cold.

But I think my crassness is a result of learning to hate with vehemence every word that came out of Jack’s mouth or mind. I’m not exactly sure why, but Jack got on my fucking nerves. In fact, the second half of the book heralded by their escape from captivity should’ve read like a rebirth, an exploration of the world as beautiful and new, but still threatening. Instead, I just wanted him to shut the fuck up.

Also, why the fuck wasn’t he more upset when he was separated from his mother or when she tried to kill herself. This is the ONLY caring person that this little bastard knew for his entire life and he cries for about three seconds and then goes about his day. Even his own grandmother can’t seem to stand the little prick. I get that Jack needed to be shown as being difficult to handle, but when the reader starts to hate the narrator, the author (Emma Donoghue) has a big fucking problem on her hands.

Like most novels, I’m torn. I wanted to like this one. Ma is portrayed so delicately that I found myself admiring her and being angry at her in the the same paragraph. Emma Donoghue created an amazing character in Ma. Frightened and brave, loving and neglectful. Conflicting attributes that are in every being expressed through the most horrifying of situations.

And then there’s her son.

That annoying little prick.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still Asking: A Bastard’s Review of Steve Almond’s (Not That You Asked)

I caught wind of Steve Almond while I was listening to Marc Maron’s WTF podcast. I still regard what took place as one of the most enlightening and profound discussions of Art and its state in our current society (spoiler warning: it’s not good) I still fantasize it when I need something to think about in the shower.

  • Yeah. That’s me alright.

I was also intrigued when I heard Steve’s elucidation on the writer as the lonely craftsman. Quickly, Mr. Almond was endeared to me when I heard him give account of the solitude and nakedness of the writer in the midst of his craft.

“Why yes! That’s exactly how I feel when I’m up at 3am struggling with the words to properly convey the darkness that is in my mind without using the word ‘darkness’”

I’m not sure, but if I were in the room,  I may have hugged him and cried on his shoulder. Or had sex with him. I’m not sure which.

My research began. As a musician who handles non-musicians who boast opinions on music all day long, I wasn’t immediately interested in “Rock and Roll will Save Your Life.” This isn’t to say that Steve’s book wouldn’t provide insight that I could never have otherwise garnered, but frankly I equivocated myself reading that book to a McDonald’s employee watching Super Size Me. (Not That You Asked) was thed next highest rated. So, appealing to the Hoi Polloi, I ordered a copy.

“You’re the Wal-Mart of Hope.” Steve begins his book with a letter to Oprah Winfrey declining her offer to name (Not That you Asked) as a selection in her book club. What follows is an erratic and rambling series of attempts to calm any bridge-burning fires that may have been sparked from the outrage of the first letter. Calling his first letter “Unintended Satire” or “Temporary Dementia,” Steve points to the problem that many writers have. In a country where more than 25% never read books, writers are completely fucked without the assitance of Oprah’s benevolently bloated hand. Even veterans like Cormac McCarthy (one of my favs) are brought into fame that has otherwise eluded them once Oprah spews out their name in-between slices of pizza.

Let’s roll off of Oprah for now. She has, after all, done more for contemporary writers than just about anyone else in the world. So, even if she can get annoying, you gotta give her that.

From there, (Not That You Asked) Moves into a love story about Kurt Vonnegut and Steve’s attempt to write a book based on the famed author. A book that would, eventually, become (Not That You Asked) Unfortunately, his publishers didn’t seem interested in a book about Vonnegut and (Not That You Asked) was instead turned into a series of articles and stories.

And, herein lies the Tragedy.

The Vonnegut section is definitely the highlight of the book. Although, hearing how Steve kept sticking his dick in a tub jet in the hopes of getting his cock to quiver is definitely worth the price of admission, it nonetheless falls short of the telling that was the story of how Steve almost, but not quite, could’ve written an amazing work on a literary rock star.

Keith Richards of the written word

 

 

 

Resolution: Drugs and Pancakes

Pulling a Marlboro out of his pack with his teeth, he reached into his pocket to pull out his Zippo. The silver casing shimmered around the engraving BOB, reminding Durwin of his Christian middle-school education with its notions of places where everything was white glowing, gleaming, and bright.

Romantic notions of creatures that know that they’ll be dead soon.

Durwin thought of a joke that one of his fellow students told him once: Santa Clause, God, and The Easter Bunny walk into a bar. Santa and the Easter Bunny both complain that, once children grow up, they stop believing in them. The Easter Bunny looks to God and asks him why human beings continue to believe in him when they become adults, but God doesn’t say anything. The Easter Bunny turns back to Santa and asks, “Why isn’t he answering me?” Santa throws back his drink, and with a voice tightened by a shot of whiskey replies, “Because he’s a figment of your fucking imagination.”

Durwin considered that he didn’t want a place where he could meet up with everyone else after he was dead. Dead is a place for quiet, not conversation or hymns. Leave him to the quiet songs of feasting worms and settling dirt.