Monday, June 13, 2011

What is James Boice reading?

Today's featured contributor at Writers Read: James Boice, author of the novels MVP , NoVA, and the newly released The Good and the Ghastly.

His entry begins:
Right this moment—10:57 AM on Monday May 23, 2011—I am in the process of reading two books. One novel and one non-fiction. That tends to be the way I operate. The novel is Arriving in Abignon by Daniel Robberechts. I came across it on the New Arrivals shelf at the local library. This is a good place to locate good books that I normally would have missed because of the blaring fiction hype-machine which often tricks me into buying books I do not like. Anyway, this was written in the 1960s. It’s a short meditative book about the writer’s experiences with this random town in France as a young man. He keeps ending up there for one reason or another. He is a loner-type. In a lot of ways he is your every day self-absorbed 24-year-old-ish artistic type. I am not...[read on]
Among the early praise for The Good and the Ghastly:
“[The Good and the Ghastly] is [a] great [book]…that speak[s] broadly to what we want from a novel, and more specifically to what we should demand from emergent writers — reformulation, reinvention — something new about the world beyond them…. The conflict between a rising gangster and a vigilante mother who pursues him is open and epic in its curve. The prose, ringingly clear, sometimes maddeningly flat, is always well footed. As in his first novel, MVP, about a basketball star with a striking similarity to Kobe Bryant, Boice deals a somewhat slight, often sly variation on the world we live in now, so that even the money we spend on it may be a kind of ticket to a half hell we're reading about. It hasn't happened yet, but the book lives.”
Tom Chiarella, Esquire

“Amped-up…. [The Good and the Ghastly] follows post-apocalyptic predecessors like Walter M. Miller's "A Canticle for Leibowitz" in dramatizing man's genius for misconstruing history and compulsively repeating destructive mistakes. But mostly the book's thrills lie in the savage exploits of Junior and Josefina and in the promised collision of an unstoppable force with an immovable object.”
Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal

"Beyond the muscular brilliance of Boice's language lies a deeply penetrating tale of a near-America as scary and heart-wrenching and decent as our own. The Good and the Ghastly holds a mirror up to contemporary society then smashes through it with breathtaking force. I couldn't put it down."
—David Goodwillie, author of American Subversive
View the trailer for The Good and the Ghastly, and learn more about the book and author at James Boice's website.

Writers Read: James Boice.

--Marshal Zeringue