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Days After the Crash Paperback – June 12, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 58 pages
  • Publisher: Asymmetrical Press (June 12, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982797370
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982797372
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,709,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Millburn's prose is muscular and unflinching, lifting and purely-poetic." 
The Panamerican

From the Author

FOREWORD

I hate forewords, so I'll keep this brief.

Nobody reads fiction anymore. The novel is dead. No one has time to read made-up stories these days. We've been told these lies for years. And to a certain extent these lies are true. While genre fiction--vampire, teen, paranormal, and the like--may have given birth to a new kind of readership, not nearly as many people read serious, literary fiction in today's busy, entertainment-saturated world. 

This is unfortunate, but I'd like to posit to you that this "problem" is more the author's fault than the reader's. With television and movies and video games and internet and iPods and iPhones and iPads and iWhatever, people have more options than ever. This is good news for people, but bad news for writers. 

It's bad news because authors are no longer competing solely with other authors. Instead, we are competing with an entire world of designers and directors and developers of new, hip, slick products. And all of us creators are vying for the same thing: your time and attention.

For me, however, this is actually good news. It is a test of sorts. Competing for your time means that my burden of proof as a writer has been radically increased, and thus I must work incredibly hard to create something that is both enticing and entertaining, while still providing a payoff that cannot be found anywhere else. 

I believe that fiction can provide this payoff unlike any other art form. When it's done well, literary fiction is the only creation that can provide an exchange of consciousness between its author and its reader, conveying raw emotion and internal feeling far better than Hollywood movies or trendy apps or even narrative nonfiction. It is this exchange that brought me to literature in the first place, and it is this exchange that still makes reading and writing fiction the most thrilling thing in the world for me.  

Because I am vying for your time, I made this book succinct (somewhere around 9,000 words, which in traditional print is less than 40 pages). My test herein was to create a book for two types of people: something demanding enough for people who love serious literature and also something accessible to people who are curious enough to dedicate a sitting or two to reading my prose. Hence, this book is short, but it's also reasonably difficult; it can be read in a few sittings, though you'll also be challenged by its more rigorous aspects like, for example, the 714-word sentence that ends the first chapter--a sentence I spent a month crafting.

I labeled Days After the Crash a novella because it follows the traditional arc of a novel, albeit appreciably shorter. It's worth noting that this book was partially tweezed from my forthcoming novel, As a Decade Fades, which features the same main character, Jody Grafton, and which is significantly longer and more complex and much, much more fractured and fragmented, not unlike a large piece a glass dropped from atop a tall building. 

Ultimately, I cobbled together the following pages in an attempt to convey the emotions I felt during one of the hardest times of my life, emotions like loneliness, depression, overwhelm, despair, and, eventually, hope. It is my belief that these highly personal, highly individual emotions can be accurately conveyed only through a story and its characters.

Much of my fiction is autobiographical in the sense that many of the events and emotions in my stories actually happened to me. The characters in my stories, however, are clearly not me. Or are they?

--JFM

More About the Author

Joshua Fields Millburn left his corporate career at age 30 to become a full-time author. Best known as half of the simple-living duo The Minimalists, his essays have garnered an audience of more than 2 million readers at TheMinimalists.com.

The Minimalists are currently on a 100-city book tour. Free tickets: themins.com/tour

Millburn is the bestselling author of three fiction and five nonfiction books and has been featured on CBS This Morning, ABC, NBC, FOX, NPR, CBC Radio, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Times, Forbes, Elle Canada, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Seattle Times, Austin American-Statesman, Toronto Star, Globe & Mail, Vancouver Sun, Village Voice, LA Weekly, Zen Habits, and various other outlets.

He has toured internationally and has spoken at Harvard Business School, SXSW, World Domination Summit, TEDxWhitefish, and several other organizations, universities, and conferences.

To help raise the tide of independent publishing, Millburn cofounded Asymmetrical Press, an independent publishing company and community that embraces new technologies, methods, and ideas to help writers and creators reach an audience--publishing for the indie at heart.

Born in 1981 in Dayton, Ohio, Millburn currently lives in Missoula, Montana. Read more at his website: JoshuaFieldsMillburn.com.

Customer Reviews

I greatly look forward to reading more literary fiction by Joshua Fields Millburn.
zenigma1
JFM has an incredible talent for detailed descriptions that paint vivid mental pictures of the characters and their surroundings.
NanSea
As does his blog, this novella made me think about how I'm living my life and where I can make improvements.
Jennifer Sights

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Judoka on June 22, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Two things first:
1) It is hard to put yourself out there, in any medium. To do so opens yourself to praise, as well as criticism. I commend Joshua for putting himself out there.
2) I am not a reader of Josh's theminimalist.com blog. My wife is though, and that's how I became aware of this novella. If you haven't read Josh's blog you may find my review to be coming from a more neutral place, given that many of the reviews seem to be a little over the top (comparisons to Picasso and Faulkner for example).

I'm mostly going to focus on the foreword because the author's opinions on storytelling affect the novella greatly:

1) "'Nobody reads fiction anymore. The novel is dead. Nobody has time to read made-up stories these days.' We've all been told these lies for years". ***I've never heard this before in my life. For instance: Fantasy, James Patterson's stuff, Harry Potter, Twilight, Hunger Games, etc.
2) "While genre fiction - vampire, teen, paranormal, and the like - may have given birth to a new kind of readership, not nearly as many people read serious, literary fiction in today's busy, entertainment saturated world." ***This made me leery because it suggested that the author saw his kind of work as the only work that matters.
3) "...literary fiction is the only creation that can provide an exchange of consciousness between its author and its reader, conveying raw emotion and internal feeling far better than Hollywood movies... or even narrative nonfiction." ***This is an incredibly - and I wish I could use a different word - arrogant statement. Watch Life is Beautiful or Saving Private Ryan and tell me those don't convey raw emotion. Also, there is no exchange between author and reader in a book; it is a one way street.
Read more ›
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Nuada Citlali on June 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Like many of the reviewers, I got to know the author from The Minimalists' blog (a really helpful blog, go visit if you haven't already). Accostumed to the author's style, I somewhat knew what to expect, but I was still curious to know if his style of writing (short, ordered, simple) could create something great in fiction. In short, I expected it to be simple yet profound, "clean" and complex.

The fact is, this work isn't powerful nor enganging: it's bland and predictable. If I had to photograph what his fiction evokes, it'd be a pile of organized, folded, clean clothes you don't care about. It's as thought-provoking as Paulo Coelho.
I greatly appreciate that his work is available for free (at least will be temporarily), but I'd be disappointed if I had spent money on it.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Linda Sand on June 19, 2012
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I can hear my English teacher saying, "Show; don't tell." This author tells us all about Jody sitting on the roof but he doesn't help us "feel" Jody sitting on the roof. I know what rain on the roof on an otherwise sunny day feels like and smells like but I didn't get any of that feeling here. Because of that, I couldn't get past the first few paragraphs. I love The Minimalists blog so I want to love Joshua's fiction but I just can't do it. Sorry, Josh.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jake on July 14, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read the Minimalists blog, and the writing there is leagues beyond this nonsense, because it doesn't try to be more than what it is. This novella was extremely pretentious. Its as if Josh was expecting his audience to read in rapture and then clap their hands mindlessly as they marveled at his word-smithing. The metaphors, similes, and distracting, flowery, and ultimately pointless descriptions in the first chapter alone were enough to put me off to the book.
The final two nails in the coffin were the utterly pointless 714 word sentence ending the first chapter, and the start of the second chapter. "And, but now..."??? Really? What utter nonsense.
I got this book for free, for which I am thankful. I wouldn't bother buying it. I can recommend that you go and check out the Minimalists website however, and perhaps one of their other books such as Minimalism: Essential Essays or Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Colin Wright on June 18, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
There are plenty of reviews here that tell you about the topic of the book, so I'll focus on my experience of it.

Days After the Crash is one of the more satisfying reads I've had in a long time. Like high-end chocolate, it's served up in a bite-sized portion, which is perfect, otherwise I might have been overwhelmed by the richness of the storyline and words used to tell it.

This is a quick read, but one that you'll be thinking about long after it's done. And while you're reading it, you'll be completely engrossed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By E. Tannenbaum on June 25, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I wanted to like this - I read his blog and downloaded this during the free offer period. My actual rating would be 1.5 stars, as I waiver between hating it & not liking it.

Unfortunately, I never was able to establish any connection with the characters or the mindset; in fact, I was ready to quit reading when I realized I was almost through with the book, so I read the remaining couple of pages. As others said, it appears the author believes literary fiction merits the term if he writes a lot of big words, overdoes the imagery, and includes some very long sentences. I didn't find the syntax or overblown language believable as being how the protagonist would actually think, even if he is a song writer. A few specific phrases just didn't make any sense to me. I think Joshua would benefit from going through a publishing house (& the rejection slips & editorial support that involves) or at least working with an established editor rather than going the direct self-pub route.
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