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2008-02-23 - 5:31 p.m.

Back to Marshall N. Klimasewiski--I finished Tyrants and have started his novel and am excited to have stumbled upon* a writer whose work is so flawless. The only criticism I can come with is "does he really need that 'N'? Is there another Marshall Klimasewiski writing books?"

* Book publishers take note: I choose books 95% of the time cuz the cover is appealing. This one had a cover that said to me "I am a serious book by a youngish but not overly hip writer who may or may not be European but let's hope he's from Connecticut." (He is).

Anyway, the established author I would compare him to for reference is Jane Smiley, a similarly precise, lucid describer of events with an adventuresome sense of plotting and 12 rich, often squirmily unflattering character-based observations per page.

The first story in the collection is about an airship expedition to the Pole during the time of Mussolini--told in great technical detail, like Melville's whale-vomit chapters, or Jane Smiley's dense Greenlanders saga, but also in finely-tuned emotional detail. It is actually a sort of love story.

But then he can swing into coming of age stories, dying-parent stories (shades of Smiley's Age of Grief), and other tales of pain and redemption and family and confusion, set in the Connecticut suburbs that are just that--a setting, not shorthand for "hellhole of middle class oppression."

Is Robyn Hitchcock capable of writing a bad song?

Uh, don't answer that.

Nevertheless, I am enjoying this comp of Moss Elixir-era acoustic demos, particularly the title track and "Beautiful Shock."

thoughts? (3 comments so far)

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