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Dennis's picture Posted by Dennis

Tao Lin

The Way Of Tao
Brandon Tietz
Tao Lin

I was at Urban Outfitters shopping for overpriced t-shirts when I first encountered Tao, existentially speaking.  Staring up at me with its minimalist cover design was a little novella called, Shoplifting From American Apparel.  The title grabbed me, so I did what I do with any book: read the synopsis, the author bio, a random page in the middle.  Later that night, I’ve got the novella sitting next to my Mac as I’m looking this guy up on Wikipedia.

Tao Lin: 26 years old, lives in New York.  Has published five books.

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Dennis's picture Posted by Dennis

Chris Cleave

The Architect of the Trojan Horse that is Little Bee
Kasey Carpenter
Chris Cleave

I recently caught Chris Cleave in Dallas as he wrapped up a 35 day tour across the US promoting his second novel, Little Bee, now being released in paperback.  Little Bee is a New York Times Bestseller, shortlisted for the 2008 Costa Novel Award, nominated for the 2009 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book, long-listed for IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice.

We scheduled an hour, and wound up chatting for about four.   We talked about Little Bee, the fear of screen adaptations (of his first book, Incendiary and the upcoming adaptation of Little Bee), rewriting Star Wars, what literature needs to learn from the music industry, and why being asked if you want the keys to the minibar at check-in is such a loaded question.  These are the highlights, culled from the audio:

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mirka's picture Posted by mirka

Pablo D'Stair

A Conundrum
Alberto Martin
Pablo D'Stair

Pablo D’Stair is a very busy man. He’s the founder of Brown Paper Publishing and author of the novels Kaspar Traulhaine, approximate (December 2009) i poisoned you (March 2010)  and the forthcoming bleed the ghost empty, bleed the ghost dead (June 2010) and witness nothing (September 2010). Pablo’s stories blow the doors off of transgressive fiction’s redundant set pieces, they stick with you.

His novels are distributed in print absolutely-free-of-charge, and he’d like a word with you…

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mirka's picture Posted by mirka

Richard Thomas

One of Our Own
Brandon Tietz

I don’t know how the hell Richard Thomas sleeps at night.

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mirka's picture Posted by mirka

William Lashner

William Lashner’s Metamorphosis
Rob Hart
William Lashner AKA Tyler Knox

So, funny story: Tyler Knox is not actually a real person.  

After reading his fantastic "debut" novel Kockroach, I consulted Tyler's Web site and shot off an e-mail to his agent, asking if I could set up an interview.  She gave me contact info for William Lashner.  I figured he was a publicist.

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Dennis's picture Posted by Dennis

Chuck Klosterman

Heartburn and Brain Freeze
Christopher Stipp
Chuck Klosterman interview on ChuckPalahniuk.net

Pop culture needs more people like Chuck Klosterman.

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Dennis's picture Posted by Dennis

Jim Munroe

Northern Exposure
Will Tupper
Jim Munroe

Here’s a bit of hyperbole my friends tell me I’m famous for: “primarily” sci-fi novelist Jim Munroe is the Tyler Durden of modern, “gutter” culture.

Don’t buy it? Check the facts. This is the man who got picked up from the slush pile of Rupert Murdoch’s corporate publishing giant, HarperCollins. His first novel, the hilarious Flyboy Action Figure Comes with Gasmask, a kind-of Generation X Monkeywrench Gang with superheroes, was published by HC, and considered successful enough by the moneyed bigwigs to warrant a contract for a second book.

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Dennis's picture Posted by Dennis

Josh Bazell

Paging Doctor Kickass
Rob Hart
Josh Bazell

How good is Josh Bazell's debut novel, Beat the Reaper?

Last year I took my girlfriend to see Equus. During intermission, I pulled the book out of my bag to see how much I could read before the show started again. That's the measure of a great book - one where you spend your day looking for moments to get in a few more pages.

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Stooge's picture Posted by Stooge

James Ellroy

You're digging it, right?
Stephen Conley
James Ellroy

James Ellroy has written a new book. After eight long years and a short story collection or two, Mr. Ellroy has finished his Underworld USA Trilogy with Blood's a Rover, a wild and unpredictable ride through the end of the 1960's and the end of our country's innocence for good.

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anxious phoenix's picture Posted by anxious phoenix

Rudy Wurlitzer

"The Novel of Bullshit is dead."
Rob Hart
Rudy Wurlitzer interview on ChuckPalahniuk.net

"The Novel of Bullshit is dead."
 
Those were the words of praise Thomas Pynchon heaped on Rudy Wurlitzer's debut novel, Nog, published in 1969.
 
As if that wasn't enough of an endorsement, a few weeks ago I got a copy in the mail.  After scanning the back, I had to read the synopsis out loud to my girlfriend: Nog tells the tale of a man adrift in the American West, armed with nothing more than his own three pencil-thin memories and an octopus in a bathysphere.
 
I can't remember the last time I've read a synopsis that good, so beautiful in its simplicity. 
 
The book didn't disappoint.  Wurlitzer's prose meanders wildly but remains imminently readable. It’s a fascinating narrative that challenges your preconceived ideas on how a story can be built. 
 

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