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Archelon Ranch Paperback – October 1, 2009
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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Written in a style that's an odd triangulation of Thomas Pynchon, Donald Barthelme, Jasper Fforde, Philip K. Dick, and Jonathan Lethem (Girl in Landscape and Amnesia Moon in particular), Archelon Ranch offers a surprisingly clever and engaging meditation on writer's block and authorial angst, especially for a book with no real author. --Philadelphia Stories, February 9th, 2010
But this is not just weird for weirdness' sake; Cook's story is an ever-shifting barrage of ideas, emotions, and metafiction of the funniest order. Cook himself is part of the quest of these fascinating characters, who attempt to understand (through violent, thought-provoking, and always funny situations) who they are and where they stand in their creator's eyes. Cook's use of a shopping mall as a barrier between classes and gateway to potential paradise brings out stronger social commentary than was even hinted at in Romero's DAWN OF THE DEAD (1979) --The Horror Fiction Review, March 1st, 2010
This was a very good and very enjoyable book. The idea of minor characters breaking the fourth wall and attempting to grab a bigger part of the story has been toyed with before, mainly in the small press, but I have never read a story with such a satisfactory result. Cook really opens up near the end and shows more of his personal side, which always adds to the quality of any writing. --Withersin, November 25th, 2009
Cook as an author has grown considerably as a storyteller in this book, which is quite an achievement since all three of his novels have been written in a relatively short period of time. I suspect Garrett felt more at home with the free-wheeling nature of this story, as opposed to the rather tightly plotted Murderland volumes. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys challenging material and surreal storytelling, but who also like to be thoroughly entertained when reading. --Never Ending Wonder, March 16th, 2010
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Telling the story of human test subject Bernard we are treated to a fantastical world where dinosaurs roamed free, and gilawalrus's came out to hunt when the wind comes, and the dreaded surbanites that live past the malls wander free. The main characters in the book know that they are living in a book, created by Garrett Cook, and that one day a Protagonist will arrive. Clyde believes that his brother Bernard is this protagonist. Against the wishes of the Narrativists, which are the followers of the church of Authorial Intent, Clyde decides to set in motion events that will prove his theory about his brother. But Bernard is one track minded, he just wants to find Archelon Ranch.
Now I haven't been exposed to much Meta fiction. I feel like if done incorrectly this style could be annoying, in the wrong hands I would hate such a story. Luckily Garrett Cook wrote this, and he is a very capable writer for such an under taking. The characters are genuine, there's not a dull one in the bunch. And Cook keeps the book paced fast enough that you may have to stop and reread certain passages to make sure you took in everything on the page.
Garrett Cook has written a compelling tale, one where I was virtually on the edge of my seat hoping for Bernard to escape the city and make it to Archelon Ranch. This is a must read for fans of Bizarro, and I would easily recommend it to those who are not also. Plot preserve.
It's the story of Bernard, a young man who has been experimented on and has the power of Deep Objectivity, which apparently lets him the minds of other creatures and inanimate objects. It is also the story of Bernard's brother Clyde who is student of Authorial Intent and the Church of Narrativism. Clyde believes that Bernard is the Protagonist, who is destined to move this story along.
This story is strange in a good way. I might even call it kind of trippy. It's also a book that I had a hard time putting down.
"You've been through so much. I am sorry Bernard." A fit of simultaneous purpose and aimlessness will bring the freedom that would paralyze a lesser being, and you can put that in your liquifilm.
Most recent customer reviews
I was wrong.Read more
I have to confess to having a prior predjudice to enjoying this book as I love metafiction; from the nested narratives...Read more
Garrett's style in this short story is different.Read more