The best-written book of Neil Gaiman’s career is focused, lyrical, and profoundly perceptive in its exploration of childhood and memory, and it’s also quite frightening—like one of Truman Capote’s holiday stories by way of Stephen King.
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If you’ve seen this at the Met and want a great souvenir or if you can’t make it to New York and want to experience the exhibit, then this book is for you. PUNK: Chaos to Couture is the official book released by the Museum to document this exciting event.
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Senseless (not the Wayan Bros. slapstick) is the darkest, most brutal hostage/torture narrative one can imagine (though, philosophically, and only through the thorough and empathetic characterizations wrought at Stona Fitch’s able hands that one is wholly and disparately aligned with the captive and his captors. His most famous novel, speaking of hands, is Give + Take, essentially a touring jazz pianist who in his off-hours robs jewels and riches and just as swiftly and anonymously bestows the deftly-gotten gains to a worthy charity.
Kris Saknussemm’s new novel of the road and redemption, Reverend America, is centered on the travels and travails of a retired child evangelist albino orphan named Casper (known in his healing days as Reverend America) and his wanderings as guardian angel and inadvertent and occasional avenger. I’d become aware of Kris’ work via his first novel, Zanesville, his subsequent bizarre-noir novel Private Midnight, and his exuberant alt-historical Enigmatic Pilot. We’d become Facebook friends where I found him to be equally knowledgeable and perhaps even more impassioned about things musical more than literary. So when he asked if I would contribute some original work to fill out a CD to accompany the release of Reverend America (I’d not written anything original since high school, being presently and for decades consumed either by interpretations classical or reimaginings on the non-classical side), and with his own keen idea of how music might intersect his prose, I told him I’d have to be an idiot to NOT know how to write something for him.