Wednesday, August 12, 2015

What is Nick Holdstock reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Nick Holdstock, author of The Casualties: A Novel.

His entry begins:
I’ve just finished reading William Vollmann’s new novel, The Dying Grass, a 1300 page novel about the Nez Perce Indian war in 1877. During this the US army pursued the Nez Perce Indians over three months, killing many of them in the process. Those that were captured were placed on reservations where they were further preyed on by missionaries and profiteers. I doubt I’ll read anything as good as this book for a while – it’s rich, formally daring and has consistently wonderful sentences. Like Vollmann’s other historical novels, it also has the virtue of being honest about what’s been made up, distorted, or lifted from historical sources, which actually makes the whole thing seem...[read on]
About The Casualties, from the publisher:
In Nick Holdstock's The Casualties, a man recounts the final weeks of his neighborhood before the apocalyptic event that only a few of the eccentric residents will survive.

Samuel Clark likes secrets. He wants to know the hidden stories of the bizarre characters on the little streets of Edinburgh, Scotland. He wants to know about a nymphomaniac, a man who lives under a bridge, a girl with a cracked face. He wants to uncover their histories because he has secrets of his own. He believes, as people do, that he is able to change. He believes, as the whole world does, that there is plenty of time to solve his problems. But Samuel Clark and the rest of the world are wrong. Change and tragedy are going to scream into his and everyone's lives. It will be a great transformation, a radical change; and it just might be worth the cost.

Written by a rising literary star whose work has been published in notoriously selective publications such as n+1 and The Southern Review, The Casualties is an ambitious debut novel that explores how we see ourselves, our past and our possible futures. It asks the biggest question: How can we be saved?
Visit Nick Holdstock's website.

Writers Read: Nick Holdstock.

--Marshal Zeringue