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About Tom Bradley
Tom Bradley is one of the most exasperating, offensive, pleasurable, and brilliant writers I know. I recommend his work to anyone with spiritual fortitude and a taste for something so strange that it might well be genius.
--Denis Dutton, editor of Arts & Letters Daily ("among the most influential media personalities in the world," Time Magazine 14 June 2004, U.S. edition)
The contemporaries of Michelangelo found it useful to employ the term terribilita to characterize some of the expressions of his genius, and I will quote it here to sum up the shocking impact of this novel as a whole. I read it in a state of fascination, admiration, awe, anxiety, and outrage.
--R.V. Cassill, editor of The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction
Bradley's characters tend to be less than respectable, yet imbued with a ferocious sense of the absurd, which is essential for survival and sanity--or at least what passes for sanity--in environments akin to madhouses...Dr. Bradley is a Class-A tongue-in-cheek satirist, and some of his sharpest barbs are those that zoom in on the pompous and pretentious world of modern--or post-modern--literature.
--Pacific Rim Review of Books
...impressive, funny, pleasantly challenging, and utterly unique.
--Dennis Loy Johnson, Moby Lives
The real point of reading Bradley, aside from his illumination of the ridiculous and grotesque world around us, is the rolling cadence of his pitch-perfect writing. We prize competent prose here at Danse Macabre, but we absolutely adore the rich, coloratura tones of Bradley's work, the strong, steady voice guiding us with spot-on verbiage and heady switchbacks to revelations by turns disgusting, divine, and gut-bustingly hilarious.
--James Kendley, Danse Macabre
When is the world going to wake up to the genius of Tom Bradley? ...one of the most criminally underrated authors on the planet.
--Andrew Gallix, 3:am Magazine
Beyond the flawless surface of his stylistic facility, I am most impressed by Tom Bradley's ability to walk the edge of a tone that is simultaneously irreverent and profoundly serious. His work derives from the tradition of bawdy and absurdist black comedy of the late sixties, but is not an imitative slave to that tradition. It seems to me that Bradley has learned well from that generation of authors, but has mitigated their example with an even more traditional moral seriousness. It is a delight to be able to laugh aloud when one reads, and it is even more satisfying when there is a significant point to the laughter.
--Gordon Weaver, author of The Way We Know in Dreams
Tom Bradley is the libertine that Camille Paglia tries to portray herself as, in order to keep her Jocasta fantasies at bay.
--Jonathan Penton, "When Spencer met Hannibal: Recreational Cannibalism in the New American Century"
The fetid swamp of patriotism. The vapid legacy of TV culture. The intolerable stench of America's meat-based habits. Tom Bradley has seen it all coming and given it an inimitable voice. His prose delights as it slices and carves. His ideas entertain even as they challenge and provoke. We finally have a term for what falls between fiction and non-fiction: Bradley.
--Mickey Z., author of Dear Vito
Brilliant evocative writing. Bizarre imagination let free--an enviable skill.
--Consuelo Roland, author of The Good Cemetery Guide
A drowning tide of ebullient doom...
Tom Bradley is a writer of truly extravagant gifts...It is remarkable to me that anyone who writes at such length could have an ear as fine as his for the rhythms of prose--but every sentence is considered, balanced and felicitous... I'd be hard pressed to think of any writer who has Bradley's stamina, his range, his learning, his felicity.
--Stephen Goodwin, author of Blood in Paradise
Bradley's trajectory of books, from the early SAM EDWINE NOVELS up through the mesmeric satire of VITAL FLUID and essay collections like PUT IT DOWN IN A BOOK, is toward a geist where categories have yet to be described. The fastenings and joineries of his new textual and graphic ubiety are measured in calibrations from some other dimension where the usual sockets and taper points of critical disassembly have to be replaced. Even with that, FAMILY ROMANCE is deviously structured to lead conclusion jumpers straight to the Hall of Laughter.
--NPR commentator Andrei Codrescu's Exquisite Corpse Journal
It takes a twisted sense of humor to appreciate this lunatic scholar, degenerate Harold Bloom, and biblical madman.
--John-Ivan Palmer, nthposition Magazine
I found Acting Alone to have an incredible energy level.
--Stanley Elkin, author of A Bad Man
Tom Bradley gives the reader a dazzling array of characters who are larger-than-life, while tragically and comically very human, and brings the lines of the lives they lead into connection with often explosive and always engaging results...His narrative voice vaults across an amazing range to reflect the different voices of the characters...and takes the reader through a technically facile narrative that begins with controlled wildness and a touch of the absurd, and escalates from there...Bradley gives us humor and pathos, antics and consequences, action and reaction, and the possibility of change for the better.
Tom Bradley, this enormously misplaced exile, as he enters his second quarter century commuting back and forth between Hiroshima and "Naga-etcetera," would make Lafcadio Hearn reel with laughter, if not shake his head in wonder.
--Lolita Lark, editor of RALPH Magazine
...an astute thinker and a stylist of rare brilliance...more than lives up to the glowing recommendation....expressed with great insight and charm...
Tom Bradley is one of the most misunderstood and ill-appreciated master-writers on the planet... This spectacular literary Lucifer, star of the East, talks like Hume might be imagined to have spoken to the comely Grisettes of pre-Revolutionary Paris (Well, here we are, young ladies! Here we are!)...
--Jesse Glass, author of The Lost Poet
I tell you that Dr. Bradley has devoted his existence to writing, number one, because it's fun (I mean the big complicated fun that none of us can ever hope to imagine, except during infinitesimally brief and rare moments in nature), and, number two, because he intends for every center of consciousness, everywhere, in all planes and conditions (not just terrestrial female Homo sapiens in breeding prime) to love him, forever, starting as soon as possible, though he's prepared to wait thousands of centuries after he's dead, or even longer if it turns out to be necessary. That's the ambition he cherishes. Talk about an ability to defer gratification...
--Cye Johan, Critical Appendix, Fission Among the Fanatics (Spuyten Duyvil Books, NYC)
Titles By Tom Bradley
"When good Americans die, they go to Paris", wrote the Irish playwright Oscar Wilde in 1894.
The French capital has always radiated an unmatched cultural, political and intellectual brilliance in the anglophone imagination, maintaining its status as the modern cosmopolitan city par excellence through the twentieth century to today.
We'll Never Have Paris explores this enduring fascination with this myth of a bohemian and literary Paris (that of the Lost Generation, Joyce, Beckett and Shakespeare and Company) which also happens to be a largely anglophone construct -- one which the Eurostar and Brexit only seem to have exacerbated in recent years.
Edited by Andrew Gallix, this collection brings together many of the most talented and adventurous writers from the UK, Ireland, USA, Australia and New Zealand to explore this theme through short stories, essays and poetry, in order to build up a captivating portrait of Paris as viewed by English speakers today -- A Moveable Feast for the twenty-first century.
We'll Never Have Paris includes contributions from seventy-nine authors, including Tom McCarthy, Will Self, Brian Dillon, Joanna Walsh, Eley Williams, Max Porter, Sophie Mackintosh and Lauren Elkin.
- Richard Kaczynski, author of Perdurbo: The Life of Aleister Crowley
- Back story on this publication -
David Aronson has become ill and is unable to complete the illustrations for ELMER CROWLEY. But the good news is that the great Nick Patterson has agreed to step in.
Just by coincidence, this happens to work out perfectly.
After making careful preparations to ensure himself a proper reincarnation, the dying Aleister Crowley flubs one syllable of the magickal incantation...and comes back as Elmer Fudd.
The pictures David Aronson did before getting sick are black and white. They take Crowley from his death, through his judgement in the Hall of the Divine Kings, and stop just as he is being sucked into Looney Tunes Land.
At that point, Nick Patterson takes over, and the colour is switched on. It's like the old movie when Dorothy gets out of Kansas and arrives in Oz. The different style of pictures announces the big change in scene.
An anthology of surrealistic compositions created by some of the finest names in genre fiction. A showcase of international talent undaunted by the conventions of language and common narrative structures. Here is timelessness. Here is Surreal Worlds.
Celebrated author Tom Bradley's latest short story collection, Hemorrhaging Slave of an Obese Eunuch, will take you to all of these places.
"Fission Among the Fanatics is about growing up downwind of hydrogen bomb test sites (the sky turned black as midnight during lunchtime at my kindergarten), and receiving my writerly vocation among Mormon fundamentalists. I end up pursuing that vocation in exile, among religious nuts of a different stripe, in the most famous nuclear test sites of all: Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It’s a full-circle deal, with an extended stopover of several years in Red China. (I was kicked out for political reasons, detailed in the book.)"
Tom Bradley is one of the most criminally underrated authors on the planet.
Andrew Gallix, 3 am magazine
This Bradley would make Lafcadio Hearn reel with laughter ... if not shake his head in wonder.
Lolita Lark, RALPH
I love the contradictions in Bradley's work: the subtlety beneath the rollicking humour; the precision, in his more political work, underlying the scathing tone; and the simplicity of his language throughout.
Val Stevenson, nthposition.com
"At the end of her life, Carol Novack was doing what must eventually be done by everyone who’s strong enough: she was squarely facing certain aspects of herself, her family, and her heritage that were not precisely excruciating, but, as she said, were 'interesting and worthy of painstaking examination.'
"Even before the cancer diagnosis, she was tallying up her life’s debits and credits, in particular the wheels and deals with Muter. The penultimate chapter of Felicia’s Nose is a confrontation between the eponymous heroine and her female parent, ending with something like a Pandora’s box being stashed under a bed. It’s unopened, and bursting with what we all know is inside.
"Being a writer, Carol’s method of self-excavation was literary, and she recruited my help, two shovels being better than one. She liked the way I’d glossed Kane X. Faucher’s sextuply schizoid impersonations in Epigonesia (BlazeVOX, 2010). That giant book fascinated Carol as the rarity of rarities: a new genre, something like a superficially nonfictional Pale Fire, taking place in real time as the primary text alternately rides roughshod over, and is sapped and subverted by, the critical apparatus.
"She wanted me to do to her what I did to Kane X. Faucher in Epigonesia: to dig under her characters and situations, to dissect her names, numbers, references, to turn her allusions, both deliberate and unconscious, inside out. Carol wanted a running commentary that furtively pursued—she cringed at the word—psychoanalytical strategies. She envisaged an infestation of ten-point type skittering along the bottom of her novel like army ants underfoot.
"'We need a literal subtext!' she cried.
"The relationship of a novelist with her annotator is a bizarre admixture of banter and intimacy. As we worked, certain passages of her novel began to emit unexpected, sometimes appalling reverberations. But Carol never failed, with surprising courage, to reassure me that we were on track—or at least we were groping along an alley in a not-excessively dark and horrendous inner city.
"Carol died before we could finish Felicia’s Nose. In what neither of us knew would be her last chapter, she comes forward and speaks in her own voice for the first time. She shouts encouragement directly down to me, where I toil in cackling paranoia at the bottom of the final page. Carol’s thinking about all the strange and possibly happy directions our book will follow next, and she says, 'I can’t wait to see…'
"She didn’t wait. I’ll never know what she saw."
—Tom Bradley, annotator
"A dog-whistle palimpsest, a riddling box of questions left unfinished at the author's death, a Winchester Mystery House of a book with graffiti notes from an alternative Zoharistic universe and illustrations transcribed from the depths of Bohu-Tohu, Felicia's Nose is an experimental novel based on the 'call and response' of an arcane Blues: the eternally absent author unraveling a tale from the other side of life, and the very much alive Tom Bradley answering each movement of the planchette with a drum roll cursive freighted with sentiments worthy of Sabattai Zvei."
—Jesse Glass, author of Lost Poet
"My responsibility to the gods was
to write as I was inspired; my
responsibility to mankind was to
publish what I wrote. But it ended
there. As long as what I wrote was
technically accessible to the
public...my hands were clean."
--which is fitting, because this book is itself something of a saintly memoir. Read about Tom's teenage gig performing grotesquely on the harp at a geothermal spa, deep in the savage Utah desert. The place is run by a coven of polygamist Kali-worshipping tantric orgiasts who sell fake Crowleyana to rock star Jimmy Page.
Along the way, a journey is made in teen Tom's acid-addled mind to Germany's Stauffenberg Castle, where the Father of LSD conducts the World's First Planned Psychedelic Trip with Ernst Junger. A side-jaunt is taken to Enlightenment Vienna, where we cringe along with poor Mozart as he tries to teach a noble patron's daughter to play a substandard concerto--which just happens to be the highlight of Tom's repertoire.
The bomb baby was in Hiroshima, in utero, at the moment of the glamorous detonation. As a result of prenatal exposure to gamma rays, he is tiny and mentally deficient, but his physical vigor is unimpaired. Living on a makeshift raft on the river that runs through town, he only comes ashore to disrupt high-tone weddings at Hiroshima Cathedral. It's a hobby for him. He disappears soon after spoiling a Yakuza wedding. This doesn't sit well with the leading lights of the expatriate community, who've adopted the bomb baby as a mascot. They dispatch Sam Edwine, a reluctant and inefficient American slob, to search "Boom Town's" sordid and musty places, of which there is a wide assortment...
Brilliant evocative writing. Bizarre imagination let free - an enviable skill.
--Consuelo Roland, author of The Good Cemetery Guide
Cover art: © 2010 David Aronson www.alchemicalwedding.com