- Paperback: 166 pages
- Publisher: Atlatl Press (November 4, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1941918034
- ISBN-13: 978-1941918036
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,730,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Arafat Mountain Paperback – November 4, 2014
The Amazon Book Review
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"These pages are delicatessen, a thousand lives distilled into something quaint and beautiful. There's cosmic magic at play on every page, speedboats and celestial catastrophe all surround the monolith of Arafat Mountain. Every subtlety is sumptuous, every page a journey. These pages are full of death and I wonder--has death ever been so delightful?" -- Frank Hinton, Action, Figure
"In his brilliantly imaginative and allegorical collection of linked pieces, Mike Kleine explores that which remains standing in the face of human mortality. From Google maps to the pink sky, the hospital waiting room to the moon and tides, Kleine conveys the eternity of nature within a web of impermanence." -- Melissa Broder, Scarecrone
"Arafat Mountain is a sad eternity of pointless deaths and consumerism. A celebration of late capitalism in decline--dressed in animal skins and death. You will gnash your teeth and tear at your eyes and fill your mouth with charcoal and paper clips." -- Ofelia Hunt, Today & Tomorrow
"Inject Kanye West with cosmological prowess and the desire to kill, and he just might write Arafat Mountain. This is one weird guide to the inner fashions of the violent rich." -- Ken Baumann, Solip
"Come to no decisions. Expect nothing in particular. Expect anything. Expect everything. Expect everything. This is not an object you are holding. Arafat Mountain is a hole--like being in a light-speed car, where everything is super bright, a beautiful blur, but then the car stops for a brief moment and suddenly, you can see everything, before shooting away again at the speed of light. This book will startle you. It will startle you every time you pick it up." -- Ken Sparling, Intention Implication Wind
From the Author
A lot of people, after they have read my books, will usually say to me: "I didn't get it." And this is not a bad thing, believe me, I am not offended. I try to make sure, when I write my books, that everything I am trying to convey does not jump up at you or slap you in the face like, "You must understand this now or else you just will never get this book!" No. Your interpretation of the book is your interpretation. And I am always excited/curious to hear how a book I wrote made you feel or think. But a lot of people don't like to do that. Rather, many people who have read my books--and this is just from some of the feedback I have received--would prefer I explain to them, what a certain passage or section or the entire book might actually mean. And I am guilty of this as well, whenever I read a book or watch a film and the answer or explanation is not immediately apparent--I want to know: WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?!?!
True, the general aesthetic of any book I have written is very not-mainstream. As in, my style of writing, and the things I talk about, are not usually something you are going to find in a book, or--I should say, a mainstream/popular book. Or, more likely, if you are able to make it to the end of one of my books, you might say, "Wow, I don't think I will ever read anything like this again." And that can be said in an either positive or negative sense. But either way, a statement like this is something I am okay with. I like to say I write books I would want to read and books I don't think another author would be able to write in the same way. And I am not necessarily reducing this to the type of prose, but rather: structure, presentation and overall aesthetic.
There are two aspects to my books, generally. There is the "surface" level, wherein, the book is written in a manner that can be interpreted for what is presented on the pages and seen as-is. For instance, Arafat Mountain can be seen as a book about people on an island who die a lot and in the end, realize that not everything can be explained in life and you cannot escape your fate--it is predetermined and you will die because this is something that is expected and must be accepted.
After that, there is a "deeper" level to the books, where those who have read my books, can probably attest to this. I make references to certain places, people or events--essentially things that are not common knowledge. And I will say this like I said for my first book, Mastodon Farm: with all my books, I encourage the use of Google because Google will help you find that "deeper" level I talk about. If you re-read one of my books and use Google, you will find that another story is being told. And yes, you could say I am making you do work but it's not that I am making you, I write 2 stories. One that you can read without doing any research and it may be/seem satisfactory to you, or not. But then there is the 2nd story with Google/research and sometimes that second story might answer a few, if not all of your questions about the book.
In any case, I am happy if you read my book and even if you say to me, "Mike, I did not get your book and could you please explain it to me?" If you have the time, sure, I'll tell you a bit about what I think the book is really about. But then again, perhaps your interpretation, based on your: background, knowledge, cultural upbringing, books you have read, personal interests and a plethora of other factors; may be more interesting than my 'reading' of the book.
TL;DR: My books are weird but not weird for the sake of being weird. My books are weird because there is already enough mainstream/not-weird stuff out there for you to enjoy if that is what you enjoy and simply put: popular books have a sort of rhythm and style that just cannot be found in my books so usually, my books get labelled as: weird. Perhaps 20,000 years from now there will be a reversal and what is deemed weird will become the norm and vice-versa; but probably not. It just so happens that my style of writing is usually perceived, by most, as weird. But then again, why do something that has already been done?
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This is not an age of materialism, of the reductive world. It is, but it isn't. We believe it is, but it isn't.
This is a book that chronicles the thin areas of the world. The thin areas are everywhere, where our world doubles back onto itself and leaks the future and time and god and sacrifice and death into your corner office: yes, that is the morbid juices of the human spirit you feel washing over your patent leather shoes, yes that is the crushing of galaxies colliding in the sky above your New Orleans Air BnB. The flash in your ceiling is nothing but the death of thousands.
If Mastodon Farm was a treatise on the physical everywhereness of everyone, of the collapsed and condensed mundanity of the world as filtered through the lives of the famous, as observed, then Arafat Mountain is that on a cosmic level: the everywherenss of every soul, of the collapsed and condensed eternity recurring of the world and that big old question of death as filtered through the life of the universe, of Arafat Mountain, the far-off land within your soul where scale dies.
This is the story of our time, a time loosened from the public anchor of religion and set adrift, combing notes from the static shriek.
What you need to know up front is that this novel is amazing. I suppose you could say it is about heaven and hell, life and death, and it's all happening in one universe or another. There's a huge mountain in the distance, or is it a black hole? Arafat mountain doesn't always look the same, then again nothing is exactly the same anywhere. The sky is different, the ocean is different, time is different, the words that flash in the sky are different, all relative to where and when.
Picture all the horrors and deaths you've ever read about, and then picture all the crazy universes and landscapes they come from. Add in volcanos, meteors, home invasions, suicides, motor vehicles and accidents, and then pull that lever and see what happens. Maybe something terrible, maybe something weird, depends on the universe. Is the world ending? Does it matter?
Arafat Mountain is a looping web of mayhem and shifts in time and space, with something confusing and insane and new constantly happening, but it's always good. Don't ask what it's about, don't try and make sense of it all. Just. F***ing. Read. This. Book.