Friday, March 22, 2013

This is what I mean when I say "vivid writing"

When it comes to most things in my life, I enjoy order and high gloss. Unblemished, ripe fruit; ironed blouses; shopping lists; fresh manicures. But when it comes to fiction, give me grit and vulgarity. Give me characters who are bruised, bleeding, and broken. Show me everything that, with my combs and ball point pens, I rally to keep out of my own patch of reality.

When I read The Man Who Noticed Everything, I felt like I’d been hit in the heart bone. Over and over again, page after page, Adrian Van Young delivered the kind of fiction that I crave. It’s the kind of fiction that wakes you from a deep sleep—with a slap, not a caress—and says, “Get your fucking boots on, there’s something awful outside that you need to see.”

“The Sub-Leaser,”  is more quietly disturbing than the rest of the collection and serves well as a gentle introduction. Begin with this, but when you purchase the book, be prepared for much thicker gnarls of despair, unsolvable dark riddles, and delicious agony.

Diane Goettel
Executive Editor, Black Lawrence Press


Michael Seese said...

I have not yet finished it. But I'll say that the first paragraph certainly is a mouthful. I do like the stated foreshadowing: "But more of him, the sub-leaser, the stranger, to come."

I also, always, appreciate clever turns of phrase. "Next to the pipe sits a modest bookshelf where I have invested a paperback library" (specifically the use of "invested") just resonates well with my ear.

April said...

Wow. I haven't made it to the story yet because I keep re-reading the editor's intro. It's one hell of a piece of writing all by itself (which, I suspect, is the point).