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The Loom Of Ruin Perfect Paperback – April 1, 2012
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"Disturbingly entertaining" - Philadelphia Weekly
"Exquisitely detailed, dark and humorous Los Angeles fiction about the angriest man in the world." - San Francisco Bay Guardian
"His tone is about 60 percent deadpan, 40 percent dead serious -- which is approximately the ratio that makes his new novel, 'Loom of Ruin,' so funny." - The Washington Post
"It's packed with so much action, violence and black comedy you'll swear you stumbled into a movie written by Kurt Vonnegut" - LA Weekly
"In the universe of The Loom of Ruin, human society has become a malevolent machine that's not just indifferent to our happiness but actively working to prevent it, as though it had not only become somehow sentient but also discovered that it hated us." - Chicago Reader
About the Author
Sam McPheeters was born in Lorain, Ohio in 1969. He is the former lead singer of Born Against, Men's Recovery Project, and Wrangler Brutes, and the founder of Vermiform Records. His columns, essays, profiles, and short stories have appeared in The American Prospect, Chicago Reader, OC Weekly, Punk Planet, The Stranger, Vice, and The Village Voice. He lives in Pomona, CA with his wife. The Loom Of Ruin is his first published novel.
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Top Customer Reviews
Sam really hits all the spots that tickle me, deeply. This book blends a complex Pynchonian conspiracy with the brevity of Brautigan and the dry absurdity of Delillo. If that is too many post-modern superlatives for you, I am sorry. Loom of Ruin is good. Buy it. Read it.
It works, though. LOR works as a novel. If you can put in the time to get halfway into the world of Ruin, you'll be rewarded, as the mess of characters and situations comes into focus and problems are solved in a deeply satisfying manner. As someone who spent $16 on this book, I feel comfortable telling other people to buy it.
The Loom of Ruin's impact will depend on how many people buy it. It may end up being a cult classic or it might be required poolside reading this summer. In fact, it's not too far-fetched to imagine The Loom of Ruin occupying the spot in high-school curricula that Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle and Slaughterhouse 5 held in the late 20th century.
Eleventh graders of 2034 will enjoy the violence even if they don't get all the jokes.
This is also a punk trick-appealing to those dark instincts while dancing around the actual ethics of it all. When Sid Vicious or the Ramones wore nazi symbols on their leather jackets, no one was supposed to take it as a serious political symbol. Like this book, the best punk music appeals to your gut while upsetting your intellectual framework. I wondered to myself while reading, is that all this book is, a literary punk song set to provide cheap thrills at the expense of gobs of senseless fictional destruction? I, for one, would have been completely satisfied with such a romp. And yet, in the Loom of Ruin there is a real undercurrent of the absurdity of living in the US in 2012; the disparateness of lives hoodooed by globalism and technology that remain tangentially connected in the amorphous blob of 21st century life moving inexorably forward into God Knows What. The book is funny, laugh out loud funny, maybe one of the funniest books I have ever read and it is the humor of a world gone mad with the speed of its own dizzy spin. McPheeters is really taking a page from Delillo here-the spare, almost robotic prose underlines the madcap-ness of it all. After having grown up with McPheeters's musical output and following his various writing projects through the years, this novel is the logical extension of the author's work. In a world of a billion things happening all at once every second, could something rational possibly hold the strings? Will all the twitches and shorts in the imperfect human organism result in a massive species wide bellyflop? Has our current technological age served only to magnify the illusory nature of any notion of supposed human dignity?
Who knows. Anyway, to sum up: buy this book. It has Barack Obama, Russell Crowe and Henry Rollins in it. It will make you belly laugh at several points, guaranteed. I read it in less than a week, you probably will too, bleary eyed the next morning at work because you'll stay up wanting to know what happens next. A worthy shot into uncharted territory for Mr. McPheeters, ensuring his place in the Valhalla of Aging Punks Who Continue to Produce Interesting Work. Here's hoping this is his first of many (now that his Crying of Lot 49 is out, could his Gravity's Rainbow be far behind?).
Upon arrival, I realized that I was laughing out loud several times in a few pages. It is written with the timing and delivery of a great stand-up comedian, and yet it is one of the darkest and most cynical satires I've ever seen.
Within several hours I had gifted my first copy to a friend that I knew would love it, for her birthday. This was a massive sacrifice on my part, but I immediately ordered a second copy. Please note that Amazon doesn't (yet?) sell this book in Canada, so as a Canadian I'm paying a premium to have Amazon US ship these books to me.
Anyhow, it turns out that the entire book was crafted to make me laugh. Actually, forget laughing -- I can't remember the last time one book reduced me to tears on public transit. Once, I actually found myself hyper-ventilating. People definitely thought I was mentally ill or having a health emergency.
The only bad news for me was that it ended. I have a new favourite author. Thank you, Sam McPheeters. You are a hero in my world.