(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.

(Hot Stuff) Monogamy Songs by Gregory Sherl

(Hot Stuff) Monogamy Songs by Gregory Sherl

Monogamy Songs is 2 sides (a and b) of sherlness at its best. Song samples, take them as tracks, select lines from a Vicodin sea of memorable ones:

Track 1 – “Touching makes the morning come quicker.”

Track 2 – “There’s no reason to care about the weather when there are roofs.”

Track 3 – “What is so magical about a marker?”

Track 4 – “When I am not writing poems, I am breaking backs.”

Track 5 – “This book is a sing-along poem.”

Track 6 – “At McDonalds I always try to supersize my gravatas.”

Track 7 – “I hope I am so late to work the world is already ending.”

Track 8 – “I have done so many studies on the economics of my heart someone should give me a lab coat.”

Track 9 – “Ghost fucking is a naked haunted house.”

Track 10 – “I don’t know why balloons exist, except to make children cry when they drop the string.”

Track 11 – “On the news people are sleeping in parks but it’s okay because pepper spray is now considered a vegetable.”

Track 12 – “In my heart I am busy packing a picnic I won’t have time to eat.”

I think it’s about time Gregory Sherl takes the book and reads from it in rhythm with the beat laid down by a few masterful beatboxers. Gregory Sherl – a man of poetry and many fucks, a man of heart and a hell of a rap career ahead of him. Sherl hip hop book tour 2013?

(Hot Stuff) “Confessions from a Dark Wood” by Eric Raymond

We are all probably in desperate need of a wake-up call if we are to believe that Eric Raymond’s novel, Confessions from a Dark Wood, is a work of fiction.

The global economy is a post-idea economy.

Long gone are the days of disparate marketplaces functioning concurrently. The world IS our marketplace. Commercialism is bordering now on religion. Overabundance requires studios, agencies, and firms, like LaBar Partners Limited, to define items in a sprawling marketplace of the indefinable.

Though the product might take on a tagline, title, and price-tag, it can no longer be “just a candy bar” or “just an energy drink.” It must be distinguishable. It must ensnarl our split-second attention spans.

In prose that hearkens to both Douglas Coupland and David Foster Wallace, Raymond defines the narrative arc around the impulsivity of high-life.

Read this book and realize that the more we try to speak of, and recommend, products, the more we are selling ourselves in hopes of being heard.