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Joshua Chaplinsky's picture Posted by Joshua Chaplinsky

Inherent Vice

"Inherent Vice" by Thomas Pynchon
Joshua Chaplinsky
Here's your quote- Thomas Pynchon loved this book! Almost as much as he loves cameras.

Where to begin with Pynchon? Despite being fascinated by premonitory erections and scenes of submissive turd eating, I was defeated by Gravity’s Rainbow in college. This was before I felt the postmodernist bite, and I barely made it a hundred pages in. Years later, I attempted V., trudging through 19th Century British colonies and the Namibian Hereo Wars along with Stencil and the Whole Sick Crew, coming out the other end with less of a grasp of the historical framing than when I began.

Tina Page's picture Posted by Tina Page

The Hakawati

"The Hakawati" by Rabih Alameddine
Tina Estlin Page
Come, listen, let me tell you a story: märchen and sagen to people your dreams.

Listen. Look, in my dayjob I work with some people who can most delicately be termed characters. You know the type; at home with the mindspring of Kaufman and Solondz. One gentleman in particular I vibe well with, and depending on the amount of drudge to be done that day, to be working next to him is a bane or boon; he is a storyteller. The man yarns. I have been gifted new chapters of the same story on the regular for nearly two years, delivered cantabile-like with purposeful pauses.

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture Posted by Joshua Chaplinsky

The Pilo Family Circus

'The Pilo Family Circus' by Will Elliott
Joshua Chaplinsky
Send in the muthafuckin' clowns.

Jamey’s got a problem. A problem with over-sized shoes and a red rubber nose. He’s been abducted by clowns and forced to join the circus. Accessible only by a network of port-a-johns and situated on the precipice of hell, The Pilo Family Circus has existed for centuries, harvesting human souls.  But Jamey doesn’t want to be a clown. He wants to go home. Unfortunately, every time he puts on the face paint he becomes JJ- a sadistic bastard with a penchant for terrorizing midgets and gypsies. JJ loves circus life, and has no intention of giving it up. So when Jamey becomes involved in an underground movement aiming to bring down the circus from the inside, JJ decides he might just have to kill him.

mirka's picture Posted by mirka

Stephen Elliott

Moods, Masochism, and Murder: A Conversation
Mirka Hodurova
Stephen Elliott photographed by Katharine Emery

Stephen Elliott is “giving” away his latest, yet to be released book; a memoir entitled The Adderall Diaries: A Memoir of Moods, Masochism, and Murder .  

But...with a few simple and lovely conditions attached.

Posted by mirka

The Shotgun Writing Intensives Are Now SOLD OUT!

Attention writers!  Lock and load, because it's time to prowl the wasteland of procrastination and start collecting scalps.  Translation:  It's time to get serious about your writing.  Here at The Cult, we do not rest until we're sure that every writer with potential that is reading this has taken that fateful plunge into improving their craft.  We're relentless in this endeavor; to make you all better writers a

Tina Page's picture Posted by Tina Page

Love, Sex, Fear, Death: The Inside Story of the Process Church of the Final Judgment

"Love, Sex, Fear, Death:  The Inside Story of the Process Church of the Final Judgment" by Timothy Wyllie
Tina Estlin Page
A sober, sardonic recount of life in The Process. Flagellation optional.

Console your eyes; the Thetans throwing beaucoup bucks at the Dianetics funnel have come to level with us lowly, turning their best tricks toward inspirational--there is now a commercial for Scientology. Commercials for cults! It is a new day, people. In between some slick editing and some guy mouthlusting about my life-- "It's yours!” without a slink of irony--I thought I saw Thora Birch smiling back from my set. What? No. What?

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture Posted by Joshua Chaplinsky

God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

"God Is Not Great:  How Religion Poisons Everything" by Christopher Hitchens
Joshua Chaplinsky
A literary manifesto that will excite and offend all the right people.

God is Dead
- Nietzsche

God’s not dead, (no) he’s alive
- Christian song

Opinions are like assholes. What I want are facts- cold, hard facts. Like Antonius Block in The Seventh Seal, I want knowledge, not belief.

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture Posted by Joshua Chaplinsky


'Blindness' by Jose Saramago
Joshua Chaplinsky
When style affects our ability to connect

An unnamed motorist is sitting at a stoplight when he is inexplicably struck blind. A good Samaritan offers help and from there it spreads, introducing us to our cast of characters, becoming an epidemic in the process. An ophthalmologist’s wife remains unaffected, but feigns blindness in order to accompany her husband to quarantine. Together they experience the horrors of a world without sight, and we become witness to the best and worst of humanity.