The Laughter of Strangers reviewed at Drunk Monkeys

Gabriel Ricard reviewed The Laughter of Strangers over at the amusingly titled lit site, Drunk Monkeys. Man, he really dug the book and has a lot of really awesome stuff to say about it. 10 out of 10 rating. Stuff about my writing. I don’t know how to feel about this kind of positive reenforcement. But I will say, damn! Here’s a snippet from the review:

In the past, Seidlinger’s talent has covered destruction of the mind, destruction of social constructs, and the destruction of society itself on every possible level. That doesn’t mean that he’s ever repeated himself. The pleasure of reading The Laughter of Strangers, for all its frightening moments, for all the parts that make us laugh (a little uncomfortably), and for everything that stays with us after the book is done, is in how Seidlinger describes that destruction. It’s clearly an interest of his, but it’s not an interest that sacrifices story or character. It’s not an interest that has revealed any limitations at this time. You don’t have to be a fighter to relate to what Floures goes through over the course of the book. You only have to remember the time you struggled with your own sense of identity. If you happen to be going through that struggle now, then that’s all the better, in terms of your ability to take something significant from The Laughter of Strangers.

Click here for the full review.

The Laughter of Strangers reviewed by the Los Angeles Times

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Wow. I’m speechless. Jim Ruland reviewed my latest novel, The Laughter of Strangers, for the Los Angeles Times Sunday Book Review. Not only that, it’s a positive review! I don’t like using exclamation points but, in this situation, it calls for one. Here’s a particularly flattering paragraph from the review:

“EVERYTHING YOU SAY, I HEAR. EVERYTHING I HEAR, YOU DREAD”: Like a ringside announcer who knows the outcome of the fight before it commences, the voice taunts Sugar’s wandering mind and erratic attention.
Seidlinger avoids the clinch of genre fiction that tells us boxing novels should be brooding and atmospheric tales. “The Laughter of Strangers” delivers a combination of psychological horror and strangeness that would not be out of place in a David Lynch film. Seidlinger’s weird new fight fiction suggests that perhaps the best place for boxing contests isn’t in the ring but between the pages of a book.

Click here for the full review.

Jim Ruland mentions The Laughter of Strangers in his year-end list

Man, what a list. Jim Ruland didn’t go with the tired old year-end favorites list. Instead, he categorized the most memorable books of 2013 in a topical manner. “The Laughter of Strangers” is listed under “Books That Are Difficult to Classify” alongside other amazing titles like “Hill William” by Scott McClanahan, “Even Though I Don’t Miss You” by Chelsea Martin, and “One Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocalypses” by Lucy Corin.

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Click here for the full list.

Suicide Girls love The Laughter of Strangers

Suicide Girls love Michael J Seidlinger’s “The Laughter of Strangers” (Lazy Fascist Press, 2013). It’s happened. It’s finally happened. I have arrived. Better than any review, take a look:

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Lyxzen Suicide poses with the book. Picture by Tiffany Scandal.

Matthew Revert and I talked craft for HTMLGiant

Writer/designer/pressmate Matthew Revert and I ended up talking for a couple hours about writing process and pitfalls for HTML Giant. Here’s a snippet from the lengthy (but swift-moving, I hope) conversation:

MS: The moment a book is a book, or anything beyond just something completed/written, it is its own thing.

MR: Yeah. And it has to be. You know, I’d be interested in knowing how you think your writing process has changed over time. What has changed from the way you approach writing what you write now as opposed to your first book?

MS: Good question. If it’s anything like what I sought it to be, it’s good. I felt satisfied. Addicted to that satisfaction. Now, I don’t even know what to feel. The release, catharsis is gone for me. If anything I mourn the fact that I’ve finished… and maybe I absolutely need to start another just to feel normal. Like I’m in withdrawal.

MR: We’re already talking about something fleeting. It sounds to me as though remaining static for too long messes you up.

MS: Yeah might be that… it’s as strange for me as it is for anyone else. It sounds insane I’m sure.

MR: You view whatever book you’ve finished as merely a part of much larger project. One that can never really be finished.

MS: Yeah… That’s a good way to look at it. My naturally negative/apathetic self often just treats it as addiction. Me at an AA meeting: “Hello my name is Michael and I’m addicted to writing.”

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Click here to read the entire conversation.

Peter Tieryas Liu’s selection of quotes from “The Laughter of Strangers”

Peter Tieryas Liu enjoyed The Laughter of Strangers and was kind enough to pull a few of his favorite lines from the book. Couldn’t be more flattered by the post. Here’s one from the list:

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Very discouraging when you look into the mirror, you look at any form of identification, and you are no clearer in your comprehension of what it means to be THIS person than you were ten, twenty, thirty years ago.

Click here for the rest.

Excerpt from The Laughter of Strangers featured at Sundog Lit

The fight card’s finished. All 12 rounds and an excerpt from the novel fought and finished. I’d like to think we won every round. My thanks go out to Justin Lawrence Daugherty, the mastermind behind Sundog Lit, for providing the opportunity and, of course, Cameron Pierce for making “The Laughter of Strangers” possible; it wouldn’t have existed without him. Metal horns (\m/) go out to everyone that contributed writing to the campaign: you turned a simple prompt into a G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time) level experience. Lastly, to every reader, thank you, thank you, and, once more, thank you: This has been “A Fight Between Friends.” Thanks for tuning in.

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Click here for the excerpt.

The Laughter of Strangers featured on Medium’s 21 Books to Buy list.

Right there at the top, number one: Laughter of Strangers! Ecstatic about the mention, I really am. It’s great to be a part of list that also mentions Kevin Sampsell’s This Is Between Us, Matthew Revert’s Basal Ganglia, Jason Donnelly’s Gripped, and Monica Drake’s The Stud Book. 

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Click here for the full list.

Beach Sloth reviewed “The Laughter of Strangers”

Beach Sloth, one of the friendliest and most honest internet presences online, reviewed The Laughter of Strangers. As a master of the internet brand, Sloth taps right into the meat of the book: man as spectacle, individual as salable object. Here’s a sample of what he had to say:

 ‘The Laughter of Strangers’ is the person as a spectacle, the man as the MEME. Unable to change the discussion the narrator becomes trapped. Society does this to the narrator. Accustomed to literal fights, the blows to the head, the narrator can’t handle blows to his ego. Despite the narrator’s tough exterior (tattoos, scars, and broken bones) he retreats deep into his mind. By being inside his mind he allows single words to morph into terrible things, hurtful things. Over-analysis from the narrator destroys his fragile mind. Left alone to his own devices (the TV as his companion) he breaks down from the jabs of news media, various headlines, false stories, etc.

Beach Sloth Original

Click here for the full review.