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The Deification (California Quartet) Paperback – December 1, 2011
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BLOOD: "For an author to choose as his explicit models Camus's L'Etranger, Genet's Notre Dame des Fleurs, and Sade's Les 120 Journees de Sodom (all of which he has obviously read in French) and to earn the right to be mentioned in their company is quite a goal to strive for: one that only time will verify but that perhaps Jack Remick has indeed achieved." Wayne Gunn, LambdaLiterary.org"
"The language, the timing, the humor, the strong verbs, the concrete nouns, the world beneath the world-all wrapped up in one novel You gotta read this book!"--Robert J. Ray, author of the Matt Murdock Mystery Series"
From the Author
I grew up in California's Central Valley. The Valley was huge but stifling. If you climbed the town water tower one foggy night and the cops hauled you down, it made the local newspaper. Your one goal was a customized car with a flame job and flipper hubcaps. You wore Levis or Chinos and you cut your hair short. And then along came Jack Kerouac and On The Road. Right behind him came William Burroughs, Gregory Corso, Philip Lamantia, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and, of course, Allen Ginsberg. And everything changed overnight.
In the San Francisco Chronicle, Herb Caen wrote about these crazy people living in dens of iniquity in North Beach. He called them Beatniks. He took the term from Kerouac who used the term beat to mean Beatitude, but Caen mixed it up with Sputnik and a whole generation was born.
And of course the craziness of the Beatniks was magnetic to boys hungry for Nirvana. Along with my other rebellious friends I headed to the City (on the West Coast, San Francisco is--The City), to see what was happening. We camped outside the Blackhawk and the Jazz Cellar. We lived for the weekends and City Lights Bookstore where we bought the Beat Bibles--On The Road, Junkman's Obbligato, Howl. We ran up and down Grant and ate Chinese food in bombed out restaurants, we stayed in crazy wino hotels in the Mission District because the rooms were cheap and the inn-keeper didn't mind half a dozen doped up teenage hunger artists sharing a room.
On The Road and the Beatniks set me free. Get out of the Valley, they said. Go find your America. And some of us did. Zooming back to the Valley stoned and giddy with wine and words, I knew I wanted to be a poet, be a writer, see the world. So I did.
This novel, The Deification, pays homage to those wild men whose vision of the world opened up the social revolution of the 1960s. They changed me. They changed you. They changed everything.
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Top customer reviews
But on a deeper level, this book is about the quest for immortality, about the need to understand past and parents. This book is about the river of art that flows from one generation to the next. There's no such thing as a self-made poet, Eddie finds out, as he reads the writers of old. He needs Leo Franchetti to take him under his wing and he needs Francois Villon to help him decode his own manuscript.
This story is written in cantos, and the dragons and monsters that haunt Eddie are no lesser tormentors than those that Dante witnessed on his descent into Hell. Eddie's demons circled him ever since as a four year-old he found his mother dead in a pool of blood. And they're always there, dead mother, absent father, rejected lover, jealous writing goddess, Earth Goddess, Black Goddess.
Breathing along Eddie throughout the story, I witnessed a world where reality and the realm of thoughts and visions were one and the same. I witnessed the mind of a poet. The writing is visceral and real, and it stays real even as it dips into Eddie's visions and nightmares, even as punctuation all but disappears from the page. It stays real because it's rhythm and action and image and sound.
"Eddie knew the lute player's weakness - he didn't believe. He played for the audience, for those people at the tables. He wanted their applause and he wanted someone to tell him he was good. He wanted to be loved. He didn't play like his life depended on it."
Jack Remick writes like his life depends on it. And maybe it does.