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this book sounds interesting,i saw "slumdog millionaire" ,is it as voyueristic or does it have the humanity of Diaz's "Drown"?Do the characters see there lives as fucked-up or does the author or the reader interpret it as such.If the mid-west is a cultural wasteland and everyone interested in culture leaves it to come here ,what effect must that have on new york culture as of late,Kmart on 8th st?or the green market,good or bad.If everyone keeps leaving the mid-west because it is a"wasteland"then how does it change?I know maybe the people we push out of there ghettoes when we move into new york can be trucked there.I dont believe there is such a thing as a cultural wasteland,America is america ,a culture with rich history.We are just afraid to acknowledge it,because it would mean admitting truths about ourselves.Instead we embrace an elitist psuedo-european ideal,one that will allow us to be bourgy and waspy and royalty even if we have cornrows or our last name is Lee.So therefore when we hear the real stories of america which is obesity-because we are too damn greedy and fill our overworked poor up with oil bread and suger ,then hate them for looking and being downtrodden.While the "elite"starve themselves so they wont look to be the real greedy ones,on diets that deny the fact that no soil on american land could possibly have escaped being polluted by the last 50 years of chemical plants,nuclear plants and highway pollutants.The "poor" are the rich stories of america,from stienback ,to hughes to junot Diaz to your recomended author.The smallest people are those who do not value there own.

The Gay Recluse

Thanks for the comment, Orinink. I think you would like Banner; there's nothing condescending about his writing; when I say "wasteland," I mean to refer to those parts of the country that have perhaps been ravaged the most by capitalism (and ironically, moral conservatism) and have seen the least in return, by almost any standard/measure. I haven't read any Junot Diaz, but he's on the list!

Jeff Guard

OMG!! I've actually read this book (A long time ago)!!! A friend gave me the galley and I was on a Virgin flight to London from NY, transfixed and utterly absorbed. I remember this really cute flight attendant grabbing my arm chatting me up, breaking my obssesion with this book. He was soooo adorable and yummy and asked me if I was OK. I was kind rude to him because I wanted sooo bad to finish reading the book. I ended up spending the entire flight reading most of it... and then I accidently left the galley in the seat when I de-boarded. Jet-lagged and with meetings ahead of me, I didn't realise I left the book behind until a day later... I never finished the last part!

I didn't hate the characters it was more like Jane Goodall and the chimps for me for me.

WILD, of all books, I cannot believe you mentioned this one! The man on the bus to Tennessee (Oh,Jesus!) with the Matthew Shepard Daughter--sooooo spot on! Kind of sad, they're all really sad. but really interesting like car-wreck interesting. Kind of like that fiction writer from Columbia with her twisted short stories...what's her name!? It eludes me at the mo.

Rottin' in Denmark

Wow, you've been reading hella avidly this month. George Saunders had a great short story about an obese man, also in the first person. I exerpted the ending, since it was probably the best two paragraphs I read this year:

The Gay Recluse

Thanks for the comments, Rottin' and JG. Will have to check out George Saunders...and JG, lemme know about the Columbian when you think of her name!

Jeff Guard

Columbian; AM HOLMES. For some reason her work, Things You Should Know reminded me a lot of the above mentioned. I don't know if she still teaches at Columbia. Would that no longer make her Columbian? lol.

The Gay Recluse

Thanks, Jeff -- will def check out.

Ben Thompson

Interesting article. I found some more information here

The comments to this entry are closed.

Gods final



A young boy wanders into the woods of Harlem and witnesses the abduction of his sister by a glowing creature. Forty years later, now working as a New York City homicide detective, Gus is assigned to a case in which he unexpectedly succumbs to a vision that Helen is still alive. To find her, he embarks on an uorthodox investigation that leads to an ancient civilization of gods and the people determined to bring them back.

In this colossal new novel from the author of The Metropolis Case, the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice collides with a new religion founded by three corporate office workers, creating something beautiful, illogical, and overwhelming. Part sex manifesto, part religious text, part Manhattan noir—with a dose of deadly serious, internet inspired satire—#gods is a sprawling inquest into the nature of faith and resistance in the modern world. With each turn of the page, #gods will leave you increasingly reborn.

Praise for #gods

“#gods is a mystery, an excavation of myths, an index of modern life, a gay coming-of-age story, an office satire, a lyrical fever dream, a conspiracy. One of the most ambitious novels in recent memory—and a wild, possibly transformative addition to the canon of gay literature—it contains multitudes, and seethes with brilliance.” —Mark Doten, author of The Infernal

“Matthew Gallaway’s #gods is a novel so brilliant, so funny, so full of strange and marvelous things, I couldn’t stop writing OMG WTF I <3 THIS SO MUCH in its margins. It’s rare to find a novel that so dazzlingly reinvigorates age-old meditations on faith and f&!*ing, art and eros. Luminous, enterprising, and sublimely cheeky, #gods tells the story, the myth, the dream of the human soul in all its glorious complexity.” —Suzanne Morrison, author of Yoga Bitch

“Matthew Gallaway’s storytelling manages to be both dreamy and serious; lean and luxurious. His words carry an incantatory power of mythic storytelling where beauty and savagery wrap around each other like bright threads in a gorgeous tapestry.” —Natasha Vargas-Cooper, author of Mad Men Unbuttoned: A Romp Through 1960s America

“If the ancient gods were just like us, only more so, then the same could be said for this strange, wonderful book, in which the mundane sorrows and small triumphs of very ordinary lives glow ever so slightly around the edges, sometimes quite literally. At once an oddly romantic send-up of dead-end office culture and an offbeat supernatural procedural, #gods is terrifically weird, melancholy, sexy, and charming.” —Jacob Bacharach, author of The Bend of the World

The Metropolis Case

'It’s to the credit of Matthew Gallaway’s enchanting, often funny first novel that it doesn’t require a corresponding degree of obsession from readers, but may leave them similarly transported: the book is so well written — there’s hardly a lazy sentence here — and filled with such memorable lead and supporting players that it quickly absorbs you into its worlds.'

-- The New York Times

Music: Death Culture at Sea and Saturnine

Listen or download songs and records from my indie-rock past with Saturnine here and Death Culture at Sea here.

Music Video: Remembrance of Things Past

Watch the rock opera Remembrance of Things Past written and performed by Saturnine and Frances Gibson, starring Bennett Madison and Sheila McClear.

Video: The Chaos Detective

The Chaos Detective is a series about a man searching for 'identity' as he completes assignments from a mysterious organization. Watch the first episode (five parts) on YouTube.
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