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Daniel Fights a Hurricane: A Novel Paperback – July 31, 2012
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“Filled with surreal, hallucinogenic imagery ranging from the terrifying to the hilarious.”
“A wild book full of brain-consuming storms and jacked-up teeth and mysterious tigers and breakfast at McDonald’s. While so many other books and movies these days seem to be afraid of their own fantasies, Shane Jones goes for the throat. Fans of his previous novel, Light Boxes, or who like Donald Antrim or Kelly Link or, I don’t know, Buñuel, can expect a black, fun freakshow.”
“A joy to read. . . . Gentle, quirky and ultimately redeeming. . . . A marvelous melding of metaphor and reality.”
“Shane Jones’ latest novel Daniel Fights a Hurrican magnetizes the eye to its watercolor collision course. It’s a lighthearted, good-natured tragedy powdered with bubbles, feathers, shaggy-haired rock gardens and folded kangaroos. It’s playful enough to hold court in the camp of anti-pretentiousness, yet so sad and demented that even the anthropomorphic ‘bears throwing acorns like grenades at squirrels’ add an air of menace.”
—The Tottenville Review
“In Shane Jones’ surreal second novel, Daniel is a pipeline worker with a lifelong fear of hurricanes, who slips in and out of reality as he endeavors to fight the threat they pose to his town. Playful and dreamlike, the true, the imagined and the truly-imagined swirl together to create, yes, a hurricane of a world that will suck you in and offer little hope of escape.”
—Flavorpill, “10 New Must Reads for July”
“A bewitching new novel. . . . It’s Jones’s juxtaposition of the fantastical and, say, a woman polishing off a McDonald’s Sausage McMuffin that makes his work feel so unique.”—Mallory Rice, NYLON
“Daniel Fights a Hurricane is a wry, beautiful, deeply felt book full of bewitching prose. Shane Jones is a serious player in the world of playfully serious fiction. Better start reading him now.”
—Sam Lipsyte, author of Home Land and The Ask
“Shane Jones takes the strands of dreams and reality and combines them so inextricably that it forms the DNA of an entirely new and wonderful species. Daniel Fights a Hurricane is an awe-inspiring novel, and I cannot imagine another author who could create this unique and heartbreaking object.”
—Kevin Wilson, author of The Family Fang
“A dream in the land of Brautigan written on the interior of a welding mask for proper pipemaking.”
—Jesse Ball, author of The Curfew and Samedi the Deafness
“A quietly deft and linguistically playful book about the struggle between so-called reality and the realities of the imagination. Daniel Fights a Hurricane is about the way realities cross, collide and twine around each other, and the lives that are wounded by being caught in between.”
—Brian Evenson, author of Fugue State
“Shane Jones's Daniel Fights a Hurricane is a hypercolor kind of dream-machine. Images of McMuffins morph to underwater cities morph to dream salesmen to brutal weather that can destroy the world itself. In midst of such imagination is an even richer field of complex emotion, collaged from the more abstract and terrifying ways that line our days. Here is a work that invents its own fundamental image, logic, and function, and somehow makes it feel like our new electric human skin.”
—Blake Butler, author of Scorch Atlas and Nothing
“We were completely blown away by Shane Jones’s 2010 debut novel Light Boxes, a surreal, fabulistic tale of a village revolting against its never-ending February, so we couldn’t be more excited for his sophomore novel, which he describes as ‘a novel of hallucinations.’ Sounds dreamy.”
—Flavorpill, Most Anticipated Books of 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
This absurdity is something that Daniel Fights The Hurricane has in spades. The book is absolutely bonkers. The narrative is a hallucinatory blend of realism and the down-right strange with some of the most beautifully rendered comparisons I've read in recent fiction.
I would not recommend this novel for readers who need linear/traditional plot structure to enjoy a book. But, if you enjoy the postmodern (esp. Barthelme's collage work or Jones' Light Boxes) and the limits that fiction can push, then you'll really dig this novel.
Also, get this one in paper--the jacket art is great and there are all kinds of typographical tricks and illustrations that probably wouldn't translate too well in e-book format.
Perhaps the chapter in the book that most captures Jones' style of writing is the one titled "Box built from green pipes." to which the overwhelming theme is this: there is no rhyme or reason - sometimes there is just beauty for the sake of beauty.
The choppy, scattered prose is vaguely reminiscent of "The book of Jonah." The bible story describes Jona being swallowed by a whale, all in one sentence. In the same way, Jones can say, "they are now living underwater in the pipes," and make it completely believable and compulsive to read. That's just how it is. There are no questions asked.
At first glance, the book may seem to be a story about a man who's mind is stuck in between reality and fantasy, but after cracking open the book the reader will soon discover that the novel is actually a story about Daniel's wife.
The bulk of the book is writen in Daniel's perspective: a mix of reality that bleeds into Daniel's nonsensical, make believe world. Shorter sections, written in Daniel's wife's (Karen) perspective are interjected into the middle of those parts. These sections anchor the story in reality and give depth and emotion to the the silly and fun bits.
The sharp stability of Karen, in contrast to Daniel's imaginary world, reminds the reader of the sadness that Daniel's mind is deteriorating and that "Daniel Fights a Hurricane" is, in reality, a tragedy.