New Mexico is a swirl of candy-colored clouds and evening storms this time of year. It makes the music sound just a little bit better, makes a person love the wind a little stronger. And there’s a song in that wind, a slight sadness that screams for me to pick up a book and read. You, too? Yeah, I thought so. Let’s dig in to something new.
Today’s “three reads” contributor is Grant Wamack, author of A Lightbulb’s Lament (2014, Bizarro Pulp Press). Besides penning slick Bizarro fiction, Grant is also in the business of spitting thunder and flamethrowers through your speakers in the guise of GS, a part of the Lowkey Collective (LWKY). And since we’re humming summer haunts under this New Mexico sky, let’s do a bit of conjuring, let the ghosts come in, and give a listen to GS’ track “Ghost.”
Is it getting dark yet? It’s dim. Let’s hit the lights, make this house come to life. Grant’s gearing up to give us three hot reads, but before we proceed, let’s preface his reads with some praise:
“I’ve never read anything quite like Wamack’s A Lightbulb’s Lament. It has the right combination of weirdness, comedy, violence, and existentialism. A uniquely fun read.”– Jordan Krall, author of False Magic Kingdom
“…a really cool writer and musical hip hopster”– Kris Saknussemm, author of Private Midnight
“Watching Wamack glow for a number of years now, and the Lightbulb book more than fulfills that promise. A disarmingly naïve treasure trove of ideas and words; mixing the freshness of truly brilliant SF, Horror visions with an aura of traditional European literary Absurdism.”– D.F. Lewis, author of Nemonymous Night
Thank you, gentlemen. I needed that. I’ve got my feet up now, still feeling the sway of this wind, the hum of the mountains and the trees in my hair. I hear that music creeping up again. It’s getting closer, commanding my feet to scuttle themselves around the kitchen for awhile. Grant, are you here? Let’s do this? I’m going to step outside on the porch, sniff some sage and let the night go to town on my sniffer. The mic’s in your court now. Take it away, Mr. Grant Wamack.
Made to Break by D. Foy
I heard a lot of hype about this book so it quickly moved up my to-be-read pile. Made to Break is about a bunch of assholes holed up in a cabin together during a terrible winter storm. The rich spiraling language is what drew me in and the weird atmosphere is what kept me there. The characterization is spot on and the ending is fucking beautiful. Seriously though, this guy is the real deal. You can keep your drugs, give me another hit of that gutter opera, bruh bruh.
Long Lost Dog of It by Michael Kazepis
I love crime fiction, but a lot of it comes off as cliché and reeks of a dive bar you’ve been to one too many times. Long Lost Dog of It resembles a cool gritty bar you overlooked, but is well worth your time. It takes place during the financial collapse in Greece and there’s a killer running rampant, a mad dangerous vagrant, and sexy ass lesbians. Kazepis’ prose is smooth and his characters are well drawn out. The violence is pretty devastating and the emotional moments shared between characters really resonated with me. Pick up this unorthodox crime fiction novel asap.
The Rotgut County Blues by Jason Wayne Allen
At first glance The Rotgut County Blues is a slim chapbook about two lovers stuck in a small town, but it’s so much more than that. It’s stark yet tender portrayal of the human condition and explores the weird nuances of a relationship through a neobeat lens and lyrical prose. Mainly, it reminds me of one of my exes—a passionate, heady no bullshit lover who’s a little rough around the edges but is always welcome to come haunt the corners of my psyche.
Thank you, good sir. Thank you for sharing. Now, the moon is out and we’re getting warmed up, right? What do you say we hit the road for awhile, take a drive? I know a spot out on the mesa. They’ve got sitars and flutes, a drum and a spot that sings the praise of the morning sun. Do you want to go? How about you, Internet friend? Maybe you’re already there with a book in hand and a smile on your face, dripping poetic. I hope so. I’ll meet you there. Let’s go, Grant. The night’s just begun.
(If you enjoyed today’s “Three Reads,” consider checking out some of our past contributors, including S.T. Cartledge, David C. Hayes, Bix Skahill, Dustin Reade, Daniel Vlasaty, Amanda Billings, Andy de Fonseca, and Tiffany Scandal)