Laurie Notaro, author of The Idiot Girl's Action-Adventure Club, raves
“I'm a believer that Erika Rae will make you cackle with heathen-like delight throughout Devangelical.”
And Frank Schaeffer, author of Crazy for God, says
"Devangelical strikes a darkly funny blow at the central nervous system of evangelical Christianity delivered by a former insider.”
Monologue topics: chest colds, worries, can you imagine me?, bad music, Jack Wagner, cultural tornados.
The New York Times says
Michael Kardos’s first novel, THE THREE-DAY AFFAIR (Mysterious Press, $24), is so disturbing it makes you wonder what he might have in mind for his second book. The plot is original, if distinctly bizarre: three friends who met at Princeton have left their wives at home and are headed for a golf club to celebrate their annual reunion when one of them — the self-made millionaire who lost his fortune in the dot-com crash — impulsively robs a convenience store and kidnaps the cashier. In a panic, Will Walker, who narrates this nightmare, drives them all to the independent recording studio where he works. What follows is a carefully calibrated study of how even the most highly evolved members of our species can become feral under pressure. (“I was an animal in the woods and I was making this other animal go away” is how one of them describes it.) Surprisingly, the violence proves less shocking than the purely vindictive acts of cruelty even the best of friends can inflict on one another.
Monologue topics: Thanksgiving, illness, Disneyland, the Romneys, Black Friday, holiday misery, bitterness, attitude.
Publishers Weekly, in a starred review, says
"Neatly mixing revolutionary politics with the erotic tension and cutthroat rivalry of the female conspirators...Engelmann has crafted a magnificent, suspenseful story set against the vibrant society of Sweden’s zenith, with a cast of colorful characters balanced at a crux of history.”
And Library Journal, in a starred review, calls it
“Fantastic . . . This rollicking adventure story reads at times like a fairy tale, with Good Guys and Bad Guys and obstacles to be recognized and overcome. It’s all quite fun. As either historical novel or adventure story, this clever first novel should appeal to a broad range of readers."
Monologue topics: mail, Sam Pink, Disneyland, Thanksgiving, exhaustion, The TNB Book Club.
Electric Literature raves
"Reading Sam Pink may make you a danger to society. The voice here in Rontel, as it was in Pink’s previous novel Person, is invasive. It will burrow its way deep into your brain and then echo through your gray matter. You will find yourself thinking the way his narrators think, and will then wonder if those fucked up thoughts tunneled in recently or if they were always there just waiting to be dug up."
Monologue topics: email from a listener, elevator theater, reality television, Board.
T.C. Boyle is the guest. He is the author of twenty-three books of fiction, including The Tortilla Curtain, Drop City, and World's End, for which he won the PEN/Faulkner award. His latest novel, San Miguel, is now available from Viking.
Publishers Weekly raves
"Boyle’s epic saga of struggle, loss, and resilience tackles Pacific pioneer history with literary verve…[he] subtly interweaves the fates of Native Americans, Irish immigrants, Spanish and Italian migrant workers, and Chinese fisherman into the Waters’ and Lesters’ lives, but the novel is primarily a history of the land itself, unchanging despite its various visitors and residents, and as beautiful, imperfect, and unrelenting as Boyle’s characters."
And Terry Tempest Williams calls it
"A saga of women, three women brought to the island by men…Boyle has carved out a beautiful, damp, atmospheric novel, sharp and exacting…[his] spirited novels are a reckoning with consequence laced with humor, insight, and pathos."
Monologue topics: finishing the novel, extremely personal psycho-spiritual tweets, Board.
Lisa Carver is the guest. Also known as Lisa Suckdog, she is a writer and performance artist whose latest book is called Reaching Out with No Hands: Reconsidering Yoko Ono, now available from Backbeat Books.
Zoe Zolbrod, author of Currency, raves
"Lisa Carver can reveal surprising depths in Duran Duran lyrics, so imagine what she can do with a subject as rich as Yoko Ono. This book is a searching, brave, weird, great, historically broad, and highly personal interpretation of one of the most confounding artists of the last sixty years."
And Rachel Sherman, author of The First Hurt, says
"Lisa Carver s prose is the best kind: it reminds you of all the things you know but don t have the words for, and yet still feels completely new. This is a brave work unlike any other I have read."
Monologue topics: insomnia, caffeine, Board excerpt.
The Wall Street Journal calls it
"[An] astonishingly moving novel... We're left gasping for air... Danny's emotions unfold as slowly as the carefully dispensed facts of the story, and to mesmerizing effect... Big Ray is an appalling tale told with anger, dark humor and surprising tenderness."
And Sam Lipsyte raves
"Michael Kimball has been writing innovative, compelling and beautifully felt books for years, but Big Ray seems a break-through and culmination all at once. It's funny and terrifying and it's his masterpiece, at least so far.”
Monologue topics: existential questioning, polar bears, the ocean, eating a burrito on the air, Board, fear of finishing.
Julie Klam is the guest. She is the author of several books, the most recent of which is called Friendkeeping: A Field Guide to the People You Love, Hate, and Can't Live Without, now available from Riverhead.
"Klam's voice is often flat-out hilarious… [she] never fails to come up with terrific comic vignettes and sharp one-liners… highly entertaining."
And the late-great David Rakoff says
"Julie Klam is one funny writer.”
Monologue topics: salvaging the novel, creative breakthroughs, self-immolation, public freakouts involving nudity, unnecessary trips to Israel, bleak episodes of crushing creative stasis, Board.