In most cases…ok in all cases, I come to you in order to talk about the wonder and magnificence of being ME. I talk to you about Anointed, I talk to you about The Storyteller, I talk to you about MY views on writing, or on stupid politicians, or perhaps even the glory of cheese. Today, I will depart from that, because I have been possessed with the need for you all to be aware of another writer. Yes, believe it or not, there are other writers, aside from ME.
I will allow you a moment to pick yourself up off the floor…
There we go. Now…keep focused, try not lose consciousness once again, and check this out:
I did an event on July 23rd, sponsored, and hosted, by The Georgia Center for the Book. In that event, I was paired with another local author, whose book I did a horrible job of acquiring and reading before the day arrived. By horrible, I mean to say that I didn’t do it. Shoot ME. I felt horrible enough when I arrived, and this author…this Joshua Corin fella, looked ME in the eyes, and said, “I loved your book.” Deer in headlights. No, more like a deer in headlights, frozen not by the oncoming car, but by the overwhelming guilt that it did not properly introduce itself to the car before allowing it to splinter it into a billion juicy bits.
Anyway, Joshua was a super nice guy, the drama-school type that reads with the proper influence in his characters. I still hear the eerie, wheezy, tone of his bad guy in my head. I can’t sleep. Haven’t slept for 2 months because of it. And by that, I mean to say that I have. I’ve slept fairly well, actually. Anyway, that’s not the point. The point is, the idea of this character, spent in my mind with this creepy voice, intrigued ME. Not to mention, after purchasing my copy from the owner of the great Eagle Eye Bookshop, the copy of this book–Nuclear Winter Wonderland–haunted me from the cozy confines of my nightstand. It mocked me, and my growing pile of books stacked atop it, and seemed to indicate that I was unworthy of its pages.
So, finally, I relented, and read it.
The first thing I read, in one of the first few pages of jibber-jabber that accompanies almost every tome, was from Booklist. A portion of it read thusly:
…if that isn’t enough to make you dive right into the novel, consider this: it is remarkably polished and stylishly written (remarkably, because the author hasn’t been doing this for years: this is his first novel). It is richly comic, surreal without being silly—except where it intends to be silly—and playful in its use of language. Christopher Moore writes this way, and so does Robert Rankin, although it would be a serious mistake to assume that Corin is imitating them or anyone else in any way. If you can judge a writer’s future output based on his first novel, Corin is one of those writers who, years from now, other newcomers will be imitating.
Well, that’s a pretty good sell, wouldn’t you say? Alright, I was skeptical. But I forged on…
…and could not stop.
Joshua does indeed capture much of what is valued in Moore’s writing, albeit with an alternated vantage point of northeastern insanity (he’s from Quahog…I mean, Rhode Island). His characters are rich–just deep enough to make you want to know more, but not so deep that you are without mystery–and ascend nicely to the conclusion of the book. It’s as much reminiscent to ME of the writing of Toni McGee Causey (look her up, if you haven’t already, for Timmy Christ’s sake, she’s awesome!), and the non-stop action-hilarity, than it is of Moore. From the standpoint of an author deemed to write “devil fiction”, it’s easily one of the most ludicrously enjoyable storylines I’ve read in a while. Seriously, it takes about twenty minutes at night for me to read enough to want to fall asleep. If you can keep me up for nearly four hours, you’ve accomplished something I reserve for Christopher Moore, Terry Pratchett, and the great J.K Rowling. I don’t devote that much continuous time to anything that doesn’t produce a pizza, in the end, otherwise. Go, and read the plot of this story, be entertained by the possibilities, and buy this book. Now! Support Joshua (and, hey, remember to support ME as well!), and encourage him to keep this up. I would love to dream of the day that he and I can reunite on the stage, this time as the next great author duo of fictional madness, beloved by millions.
There. That’s my image of the day. I rather like it. Especially because it includes ME.
Well, sort of because it includes ME.
Also, because this book rocks.