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Andrew D. Linkner RSS Feed (scottsdale, arizona USA)
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Hallucination
Hallucination
by William Fuller
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.46
26 used & new from $6.48

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant!, August 28, 2011
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This review is from: Hallucination (Paperback)
My favorite book by my favorite living American poet (who also happens to be the chief fiduciary officer at the Northern Trust Co. of Chicago!--Go figure!).


Emergency Measures
Emergency Measures
by Stephen Rodefer
Edition: Paperback
Price: $7.50
17 used & new from $4.95

5.0 out of 5 stars An Exceptional Book of Poems, December 21, 2010
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This review is from: Emergency Measures (Paperback)
These are poems that artlessly fail to conceal their deep mirth. Rodefer is a master at defeating expectation with every word he writes. Uncompromising. Sublime.


Attempts at a Life
Attempts at a Life
by Danielle Dutton
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.15
26 used & new from $2.07

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff!, July 28, 2010
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This review is from: Attempts at a Life (Paperback)
Danielle Dutton's flash fiction/prose poetry collection "Attempts at a Life" I found to be really fascinating. Her work harkens back in interesting ways to 20th Century Modernism and engages referentially, from one piece to the next, with various writers from that era and earlier eras as well as the present, notably Gertrude Stein, Virginia Woolf, William Carlos Williams, et. al.

Some of the writing here I found quite challenging in the same way I'm baffled by a lot of modern poetry but that's OK! Much of Dutton's work here, however, is just flat out brilliant in its creative wordplay and mind wrenching conceptual juxtapositions. Good stuff!

P.S. Dutton has a short novel due out from Siglio Press Aug. 23rd called "SPRAWL".


Part of the World
Part of the World
by Robert Lopez
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.16
13 used & new from $0.96

5.0 out of 5 stars A Superb Debut, January 10, 2010
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This review is from: Part of the World (Paperback)
Very droll, very flat affect and very musical in its rhythms and subtly varying repetitions. It's always great to come across a young writer who's talent is so much to one's personal taste that one vows to read, thenceforth, whatever of his makes it into print. Robert Lopez is definitely in that catagory for me.


The Adventures of Gesso Martin
The Adventures of Gesso Martin
by Karl Roeseler
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.06
12 used & new from $2.95

4.0 out of 5 stars A fun book!, January 9, 2010
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A very fun book inhabiting the wacky world of whimsy. It's light, breezy, angst free and delightful. Structured as a kaleidoscopic arrangement of small (1-3 pg.) stories, scenes, vignettes, etc. all related, 1st person fashion, by the title character, a chauffeur employed by a rich lady rock star.


Kamby Bolongo Mean River
Kamby Bolongo Mean River
by Robert Lopez
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.30
47 used & new from $3.45

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A writer to watch..., October 17, 2009
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I really liked this one and the ejoyment becomes cumulative as you go along and progressively more information is revealed by the very disturbed and unreliable narrator.

I liked it a bit less than Lopez's first book, "Part of the World", however because the earlier work seems more original while the newer one shows maybe too much indebtedness to Gordon Lish.

Can't wait to see what Lopez comes up with next time around.


Flaw
Flaw
by Magdalena Tulli
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.12
36 used & new from $2.04

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Gem From Poland, August 30, 2009
This review is from: Flaw (Paperback)
A very post-modern novel with its Pirandello-esque "characters in search of a story" type ideas handled with great sophistication and wit. I just love this sort of thing! Another example of the current richness of Eastern European fiction writing and kudos once again to Archipelago Books for bringing it to us! (Would give this 4.5 stars if I could.)


On the Ceiling
On the Ceiling
by Eric Chevillard
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.25
21 used & new from $3.32

5.0 out of 5 stars Extreme Whimsy, August 11, 2009
This review is from: On the Ceiling (Paperback)
This book's a blast to read. The style is what I call "extreme whimsy" laced with satire. What an incredible imagination Chevillard has!


The Seducer: A Novel
The Seducer: A Novel
by Jan Kjćrstad
Edition: Hardcover
40 used & new from $0.42

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Almost laughably bad!, June 26, 2009
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This review is from: The Seducer: A Novel (Hardcover)
After all the very positive reviews, I was surprised by Kjaerstad's ridiculously inflated and unsubtle writing. This is the kind of language which keeps me away from pop fiction bestsellers. The intermittent attempts at witticsm invariably fell flat and I only finished the book because I found myself learning a lot about what I don't like about this kind of writing.

The reason the book is so big is because of Kjaerstad's complete lack of restraint: every point hammered away at over and over throughout in never anything other than the most grandiloquent (and usually quite infantile) hyperbole. His gushing manner comes across very much like a writer enthralled by his own voice.

But nothing in the book is as laughably beyond the pale as Kjaerstad's extremely juvenile and simplistic portrayal of his characters' sexual escapades. These scenes, as they appear one after the other, through the story, become utterly predictable in their hackneyed repetitions of the powerful, sexy woman (always on the verge of future celebrity) reeling in the irresistible protagonist for a night of mad screwing, only to immediately and permanently disappear from the narrative without explanation. Everything about these scenes, in particular, reeks of the most stereotyped pubescent boy's view of sexuality.

I definitely won't be reading the rest of the trilogy.


The Maimed
The Maimed
by Hermann Ungar
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.25
30 used & new from $3.49

43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Expressionist Novel, At Last, July 28, 2002
This review is from: The Maimed (Paperback)
Most of us, somewhere along the line, have heard the term "Expressionism" applied to paintings, particularly those of certain artists working in Central-Europe during the period 1910-1930. There was even something of a rediscovery and subsequent vogue, a few years back, in the work of such artists as Munch, Klimt, Schiele, Kokoshka, Kandinsky, et. al. Aside from painting, though less notably, the Expressionist label also encompasses the works of certain composers, playwrights and poets of the period. As a long time fan of Expressionist art, I'd often wondered where were all the great Expressionist novelists and short story writers of that time and, if there had been any, why was I not finding their work on library and book store shelves?
A little investigating suggested there really weren't that many literary types writing prose fiction clearly fitting the Expressionist mold. Those who undoubtedly were oriented that way, the poets and playwrights, actually published quite a lot in Europe during the second two decades of the last century. What the most famous prose writers of the time were producing, on the other hand, were a lot of highly cultivated and cerebral or quasi-mystical works (Thomas Mann and Robert Musil come to mind) rather than the wildly spontaneous and emotion driven works we associate with Expressionism. Kafka hovers somewhere around the periphery, more a surrealist than anything else though, in reality, representing a stylistic mode all his own.
How exciting, then, to come across a novel, newly (and expertly) translated into English, by one of those few fiction writers who clearly advanced the Expressionist program.
Hermann Ungar's novel, The Maimed, written in 1921/22, first appeared in print in its entirety in 1923. The author, born in 1893 to a well-off Jewish family in the small Moravian town of Boskovice, obtained a law degree in 1918 and thereafter took up acting and writing for the theater. His first published work, a short story collection (Boys and Murderers) appeared in 1920 and caused a minor sensation garnering praise from the likes of Thomas Mann and the director Berthold Viertel. Ungar himself initially had serious reservations about going ahead with publication of The Maimed in 1922, fearing a scandal, and his publisher's reluctance to risk obscenity charges led to its being withdrawn until a second publisher brought it out, uneventfully, the following year. Ungar's subsequent literary career was brief and not especially noteworthy: some journalistic reportage and a second novel, The Class (1927). In 1929 he died of acute appendicitis at the age of thirty-six.
The Maimed is a disturbing book. It's a raw and jarring depiction of childhood trauma, poverty, sexual depravity, neurotic obsession and violence. Originally begun as a first person narrative, Ungar switched to the third person so as to minimize the chance of being identified with his protagonist, Franz Polzer, a severely repressed and neurotic survivor of child abuse who as an adult is as much a victim of internal demons as outside forces. Following the compulsively ordered Franz slowly losing his grip on his world as the circumstances and events of his life increasingly fly out of control, the story and its language become correspondingly fractured and unreal ratcheting up the tension as things move along. The Expressionists were really the first great portrayers of 20th century angst and this is most definitely the kind of thing Ungar serves up here. Lurid? Yes, but in a most artfully controlled and psychologically penetrating fashion. Indeed, the book is rife with detailed explorations of the subterranean recesses of Franz's subconscious and Freudian implications abound.
It's fascinating to examine the parallels between this kind of writing and the Expressionist paintings we're familiar with, especially the tortured images of Egon Schiele or the wry caricatures of George Grosz. Like both of those artists, Ungar's canvas is very much urban and underclass. He indulges a taste for the grotesque in the form of Franz's best friend Karl, a disease-riddled, multiple amputee who wallows in mocking self pity and he teeters on the edge of vulgarity in his unflattering descriptions of the bovine qualities of the sexual predator, Klara, Franz's landlady. Virtually any page of the book might serve as subject matter for the imaginations of a whole host of Expressionist painters and as the destructive elements of the story multiply, Ungar progressively and fittingly distorts his verbal palette.
This is not to say the book is entirely without artistic faults but these are minor and one is reluctant to quibble when examples of this kind of literature are so rare. After its first publication, there apparently were some who were dissatisfied with the ambiguity of the ending and the present translation includes a fragment Ungar added to later editions to clear things up. It is known, however, that Ungar preferred the original and I, having found it just fine myself, avoided reading the addition and so, can't comment on it. Recommended to anyone looking for something a bit twisted or who loves any of the painters mentioned.
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