Friday, June 19, 2009

Head full of black teeth for an hour

I finished reading Robert Lopez's Kamby Bolongo Mean River last night. It was, oddly, or not oddly, one of the most emotional reading experiences I've had in a while. It honestly at one point got to me so much I had to stop and look at the wall and talk to myself. Actually, I stopped a lot during the reading of the book, every few paragraphs or so, and either reread a graph (the book is written in mostly very short graphs like a David Markson novel) to hear it again, or just stopped reading so I could continue to hear the first reading in my head.

It is quite a book (one about, on its face, simply a man locked in a room with a bed, chalk, and a phone) and it excites me in the best way a book can: both making me want to write, fueled by the sentences and ideas, and making me not want to write, in awe of those sentences and ideas, and their masterful assembly as text object.

You will hear me talking about this book a lot from here on, and a formal review is forthcoming, but in short: Rob, he did it.

Put this one high up on your list.






Still reeling gleefully this morning in finding this:

the incredible Dennis Cooper says, "'Ever' is easily one of the best novels I've read this year."

Man.

Oh you can now 'Search Inside' Ever at Amazon, if you would ever want to do that.




Now it's time to have a good weekend.

7 comments:

Steven said...

Totally agree about the Lopez book, Blake. I try to read everything I design a cover for, but it usually ends up as a skim, so I can get some concept ideas. But this one really sucked me in. It's hypnotic. I read it line-by-line in two sittings, I think. I hope it gets the recognition it deserves once it hits the shelves.

BLAKE BUTLER said...

i had that same 2 sitting suck in experience as well. i wanted to read it in one but at a certain point i had step away, in a good way. it is deceptively rich in that the graphs are so short, but each one is so taut. kind of crazy. but yeah, i have a feeling this one is going to make a splash.

nice job on the cover too, steven, it has a weird antiseptic feeling with the color around the phone cord that fits quite well.

ken baumann said...

excited. damn!

Dan Wickett said...

Great reaction, Blake - thanks for the post and congrats on the Cooper comment!

BLAKE BUTLER said...

thank You dan, for getting such a powerful one into the world.

Been Caught Stealin said...

I saw the Mean River from a distance laying on a table the other night. I should have stolen it rather than wait til September.

BLAKE BUTLER said...

indeed u should have