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Joshua Chaplinsky's picture Posted by Joshua Chaplinsky

James Ellroy

Breaking The Curse: Paying Penance with James Ellroy
Joshua Chaplinsky
James Ellroy

Hot on the blood-slicked heels of last year's Blood's A Rover, James Ellroy returns with The Hilliker Curse, a memoir of his quest for atonement through women. Curse is a soul laid bare, an open chest wound at risk of infection, where anyone can stick their grubby little mitts in and poke around. Lesser authors might balk at displaying such honesty, but Ellroy remains committed to the cause. He is doing important work, telling important stories. This one just so happens to be his own.

Posted by vigorous puppy

Clevenger Returns for 200 Proof Storytelling!

Craig Clevenger

Introducing The Cult return of Craig Clevenger for an exclusive four-week intensive writing experience:

200 Proof Storytelling!!*
October 7th - November 4th


A Cult Special that combines the vital elements of Craig Clevenger's renowned Hotseat and Shotgun courses into a single, packed, powerful, four-week intensive class - exclusive to

(Seats for this will be limited so...

Keep reading, but make sure to Enroll Today.)

Urgent Update: Sold Out


*Distilled for purity.  Bottled on-site. 

Within this course you'll get:

Posted by Dennis

'Invisible Monsters' Tshirts Are Back... With 'Tell-All' Posters!

'Invisible Monsters' Tshirts

Order A Shirt!

UPDATE: We are running low on Fight Club Tshirts in the Creme color.  We are not sure when we will print another run of this shirt, so consider this your head's up!  If you want one of our Fight Club shirts, now would be a good time to order one.

We just received a new shipment of our popular Invisible Monsters Tshirts.  We had previously sold out of a lot of our popular sizes of this shirt about three months back, but now all sizes are back!  But wait, there's more!  The first 100 people to order any store items will receive the rare Tell-All poster with their order... free!

'Tell-All' poster

These posters sold out soon after Chuck concluded his tour, but the good people at Random House stumbled upon a left-over batch in their offices and were nice enough to donate them our way.

'Invisible Monsters' Tshirts

The Invisible Monsters shirts are available in Asphalt and Navy and are made by American Apparel. See a size chart here.  Check out a high-rez close-up of the Kevin Tong design in Navy and Asphalt.

'Invisible Monsters' Tshirts 'Invisible Monsters' Tshirts 'Invisible Monsters' Tshirts 'Invisible Monsters' Tshirts

Order A Shirt!

One last thing!  I want to remind you to not be shy!  If you have one of our Invisible Monsters shirts and think you look awesome in it, snap a pic and send it our way.  Not only will we post it on our Flickr, but it will also go up in our Tshirt gallery.

Andrew Eststrate & his girlfriend model our 'Invisible Monsters' Tshirt

For all you bold ones out there, email your pics here.

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture Posted by Joshua Chaplinsky

The Passage

"The Passage" by Justin Cronin
Joshua Chaplinsky
It's the end of the world as we know it, in this mammoth post-apocalyptic vampire thriller.

It's already been referenced ad nauseum, so I will refrain from making any lazy Twilight comparisons in this review. Those sparkly bastards are too ingrained in the current zeitgeist as it is. Equally as unhelpful is flaccid hyperbole, ready-made blurbs along the lines of, "this ain't your momma's vampire novel." Because The Passage barely qualifies as a vampire novel to begin with. This works in its favor, more often than not, helping set it apart from the rest of the haematophilic pack. Cronin hasn't so much reinvented the genre as liberally borrowed from it, picking and choosing the perfect combination of fresh and familiar. The result? The successful synthesis of bound and jacketed mass appeal.

Posted by Dennis

Join Our Official Book Club! - September Discussion "Transubstantiate"

'Transubstantiate' by Richard Thomas, our September Book Club DiscussionYou know the drill, folks.  Every month a new book is selected and a new moderator steps up to lead the discussion.  This month, our reading is already underway on Richard Thomas' neo-noir Transubstantiate

After 3 years as a workshop regular and Master Class student, Richard Thomas placed his novel with a small press.  He's something of a success story from our site.  Hell, we even interviewed him about it.  (read it here)

If you've read Transubstantiate (or plan to) and would like to join in on the open discussion, simply:

Check Out Our Book Club

Here's a snippet from Oxyfication review:

Casual brutality, sex, and disorder: the heroes of noir have never been terribly endearing to the heart, but the seven nihilistic souls of Richard Thomas’ Transubstantiate seem like they were born ruined, and are likely to die that way. The story draws heavily on all the beloved accouterments of the neo-noir tradition—fractured narratives; cynicism; disorientation; ruthless beatings—but the story branches out into other areas, exploring themes of mysticism and the unknowable, even broaching the peripheral terrors of Lovecraftian horror.

Upcoming Book Club Selections!

If you'd like to get in on the action over at Book Club, you can see what we have planned down the line:

October 2010 - Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart
November 2010 - Candy by Luke Davies
December 2010 - Blank Gaze (or The Implacable Order of Things) by Jose Luis Peixoto
January 2011 - Invisible by Paul Auster
February 2011 - Out of Touch by Brandon Tietz
March 2011 - Imperial Bedrooms by Bret Easton Ellis
April 2011 - Victoria by Knut Hamsun
May 2011 - Stranger Will by Caleb Ross
June 2011 - We Are Oblivion by Michael Sonbert

All discussions are open to anyone.  You just need to be registered to the site so you can login to our forums, where the threads for each book discussin are kept.

If you have any questions about Book Club, you may post them in the forums and our moderator Pete Goutis will be quick to help you out.

Check Out Our Book Club

kasey_carpenter's picture Posted by kasey_carpenter

Mark Danielewski

The Brash BoY, the MisunderstOod Girl and the Sonogram – the Books of Mark Z. Danielewski
Kasey Carpenter
Mark Danielewski

Some write to free themselves.

Others write to entrap.

Sometimes an author accomplishes both.

HoUse of Leaves [1] encompasses both, though I would not have disCovered the freeing aspect hAd I not pursued a face to face coNversation with Mark Z. Danielewski, the author of House of Leaves, a book that has thoroughly trapped so many readers.[2]

A book this complex, this challenging,[3] must surely have a tale of equal merit regarding the cirCumstances under wHich it came tO be. The stOry of how Mark Z. Danielewski came to write HouSe of Leaves doEs not disappoint.

The book itself, if you can call it simplY a bOok, has turned ten years old, bUt it began life ten yeaRs prior to publication, so by all accounts HoL is old enough to go to war, close enough to drinking age to be allowed, and would definitely be considered an "old soul". Over the course oF two hours Mark and I discussed a great many things, but the genesis of House of Leaves is by faR the most interesting. Let's have some fun...

mirka's picture Posted by mirka

Joe McGinniss Jr.

Dirty Vegas
Brandon Tietz
Joe McGinniss Jr.

To say that the debut novel of Joe McGinniss Jr. delivers would be cliché and about as clever as an episode of Wife Swap.  His book, aptly titled, The Delivery Man, does more than that.

Fresh off reading Imperial Bedrooms, a novel that Ellis hints at being his last, I was left with a few misgivings—most notably, the fact that I had devoured the thing in no time.  Amongst my gripes about how I’ve possibly seen the last of one of my favorite authors, along comes our book club guy talking about McGinniss Jr.

“He reads a little bit like Bret,” he said.

A few Amazon clicks and days later, The Delivery Man is in my living room and I’ve done a little research in the interim.  His father, Joe McGinniss Sr., was a New York Times bestselling author.  Subsequently, he would go on to teach a young Bret Easton Ellis right around the time he came out with a little novel called, Less Than Zero.  Regarding McGinniss Jr. and his tale of twenty-somethings behaving badly in gritty Las Vegas, I didn’t expect much.  The bar felt too high.  I was too busy looking up at the impossible standards set by his predecessors to see the kick in nuts coming.  The Delivery Man is that good.

Joe recently took some time out to talk with me, the topics ranging from ignorant Amazon reviewers to why we hate vampires, and of course, that city of sin known as Las Vegas.  

Posted by Dennis

Top 10 Things That Would Make the Writing World a Better Place

Chuck Palahniuk's Top 10 Things That Would Make The Writing World a  Better Place in the latest issue of Writers Digest.

Writers Digest has just published a funny Top 10 from Chuck Palahniuk in their latest issue.  The topic is "The Top 10 Things That Would Make the Writing World a Better Place'.

The list is not available on their site but we've included a picture of it here.  You can click the image to make it larger and probably make out all of the content.  Either way, we suggest you go pick up this latest issue.  You can also visit them online at

Props to Kasey Carpenter for finding us this one.