(Hot Stuff) Crapalachia by Scott McClanahan

NOTE: The following is a truncated version of the full review found at Heavy Feather Review.


With every sentence penned, he is recording a side of history that would otherwise go unaddressed. Scott speaks of the many faces of family while fearlessly pointing out the darker lines around the eyes we often disregard as a bad day, a bad decision, with catch-all excuses and idle sympathies.

McClanahan views happenstance with uniquely tragic sort of eye, the focus being on who committed suicide, who got their toes cut off by a lawnmower, rather than who survived and who has all of their toes. It might be melodramatic, a glass-half full kind of mentality but you aren’t seeing the point: It’s the narrative material we all fixate upon. No one would watch a reality TV show where all we see is one perfectly happy Pleasantville. Fuck that.

This book is evidence of the fact that McClanahan would live through the treacherously bad times and still manage to bring that big grin around and wide. He’ll say “CURE FOR DEPRESSION” and he’ll show you what’s up. How to do it. How to keep from letting a bummer bring you down.

I don’t waste any time trying to discern between which parts of Crapalachia are true or not; set together as a singular entity, family history as Crapalachia, it is all true, and every single word of it must be read.

Fiction. Nonfiction. It doesn’t matter. We live through it.

We live through all of it.

My Pet Serial Killer reviewed at Heavy Feather Review

A new review of My Pet Serial Killer was published today at Heavy Feather Review and it’s got some really humorous lines. We’re talking really playful. Cassandra Gillig did a great job reacting to the gore and the transgressive qualities of the novel with lighthearted humor.

I’ve quoted a few:

“But Seidlinger is not overcome by an urge to pander to the cliches of genre fiction; he is a literary man.”

“So yes, every single grad student is crazy and plotting your death! They are still mad about their GRE scores! They will never stop being mad about job placement! Don’t trust them! (Thankfully most grad students do not possess more physical strength than the ability to lift a small crate of oranges.)”

“Seidlinger’s work shows a steady fascination with the arduous yet too human task of composing and managing the public manifestation of one’s private life.”

“Clearly such a realistic portrait of a serial killer couldn’t be penned by someone who hasn’t killed. If you see Michael J Seidlinger at AWP or something, be very very cautious; he has killed before and he will kill again.”

For the full review, click here. It’s a fun one!