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Saturday, June 16, 2018

My Review of This is Memorial Device by David Keenan up at JMWW!

I'm always excited to get rock novel recommendations.

Lewis Buzbee passed This is Memorial Device by David Keenan on to me, which he found and read while traveling in Europe in 2017. I had to wait until this past February to get my hands on it here in the States, and it was well worth the wait. I touch on what the novel does well in my review of it, which just popped up at JMWW this past week. Give the review a read, then give the book a read.

Yours in laying down the law,

Art

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Saturday, April 21, 2018

My Review of The Selfishness of Others by Kristen Dombek up at JMWW!

I started getting interested in narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) in the early 2000s. The term seemed fresh and new to me at the time. The books I read on NPD opened my eyes to a certain type of person to avoid, and I've done what I could to avoid them. 

Unfortunately, in 2018, the term no longer seems to apply only to my life anymore. I'm sorry for this, but on the upside is it's led to a great deal of compelling writing on NPD. As an example I offer Kristen Dombek's The Selfishness of Others, which I reviewed for JMWW

Take a look, and here's hoping you don't see your reflection!

Yours in laying down the law,

Art

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Saturday, March 31, 2018

My Review of Surfing with Sartre by Aaron James up at Colorado Review!!!

I took philosophy as a minor in college, and I struggled with the esoteric nature of some of the books. I thought I was going to learn how philosophical principles applied to my life. Instead, I spent most of my time trying to figure out where these famous philosophers stood on anything. 

Aaron James, philosophy professor and author of Surfing with Sartre, seems to get it. His latest book of nonfiction explores how people might apply the loose rules of surfing to cultivate a more meaningful life for themselves both in and out of the water. I loved the book, and I wrote a review of it that just popped up at Colorado Review. Give the review a read, and consider giving James' book a shot too.


Yours in laying down the law,

Art

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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

My Review of The King of Good Intentions up at JMWW!!!

I love it when a new review of mine pops up, so much so that I want to make sure you know that my review of the rock novel The King of Good Intentions by John Andrew Fredrick went live this week at JMWW.

The King of Good Intentions is the first of at least two rock novels in a series by Fredrick. You all know how fond I am of rock novels in a series. Let's just say Fredrick's debut reminded me a bit of my 2003 debut Stuck Outside of Phoenix, except his is set in Los Angeles and has a narrator (and writer) boasting some serious acuity with the language. Lovely prose, lots of good honest trouble. Give the review a read, and give the novel a chance as well!

Yours in laying down the law,

Art

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Saturday, February 24, 2018

My Review of The End of My Career up at Los Angeles Review of Books!!!

Why do I prefer memoirs to novels now? Argh! Stop messing with my mind!

Read about it in my review of the Martha Grover's memoir The End of My Career, which just went live at Los Angeles Review of Books

Yours in laying down the law,

Art

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Saturday, January 6, 2018

My Short Story "Nello's Liner Notes" now Available for Free at The Wax Paper!!!

My process for writing fiction is pretty laborious. Novels take many drafts and several years. Short stories can take just as long.

Such was not the case for my short story "Nello's Liner Notes," which came out a year or two ago at The Wax Paper.

As much as I love The Wax Paper's newspaper-y format, I'm always a little disappointed when I can't send a link around of a newly-published piece. Well, The Wax Paper has recently published "Nello's Liner Notes" online, which is great because I finally get to offer it to you.

"Nello's Liner Notes" is told by Nello Van Hansen, lead singer of Comatoast, and it's about his inability to get his band's debut album in the can.

So, give ten minutes to "Nello's Liner Notes," and let me know your thoughts.

Yours in laying down the law,

Art

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Friday, December 22, 2017

The Undisputed Top 20 Rock Novels of All Time, 2017

2017 was one of the worst years for new rock novels in recent memory. I found only one new title to read this past year--published in 2013--and luckily it merits Top 20 consideration or I would have no changes to my list.

The new title is The King of Good Intentions by John Andrew Fredrick, and I slot it in at #19. A review is forthcoming.

Fredrick has also published a sequel, The King of Good Intentions II, which I will take a look at soon. Here's hoping it's an early addition to 2018's list.

Until then, keep me posted on any new rock novels you might come across. There is no central place to find out about these titles, so I'm counting on you to fill me in when merited.

I've already got time set aside for This is a Memorial Device by David Keenan, which comes out in America in 2018. Let's hope for even more rock fiction next year.

20 The Last Rock Star Book, Or: Liz Phair, a Rant by Camden Joy


19 The King of Good Intentions by John Andrew Fredrick


18 Big in Japan by M. Thomas Gammarino


17 You Don’t Love Me Yet by Jonathan Lethem


16 A and R by Bill Flanagan


15 Saguaro: The Life and Adventures of Bobby Allen Bird by Carson Mell


14 Wise Young Fool by Sean Beaudoin


13 A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan


12 Wonderland by Stacey D'Erasmo 


11 Great Jones Street by Don DeLillo


10 Vexation Lullaby by Justin Tussing


How the Mistakes Were Made by Tyler McMahon


8 Losing in Gainesville by Brian Costello 


The Blue Bourbon Orchestra by Carson Mell


The Wishbones by Tom Perrotta


5 Never Mind the Pollacks by Neal Pollack


Stone Arabia by Dana Spiotta


High Fidelity by Nick Hornby 


The Commitments by Roddy Doyle


Banned for Life by D. R. Haney


Yours in laying down the law,

Art

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