Blood Lake and Other Stories

Overview

Jim Krusoe’s beset and bemused narrators are awash in a solution of Donald Barthelme’s worthy absurdities and Kafka’s mutating humor. In these surreal, dystopian tales, characters find their way into and out of Plato’s cave, mental hospitals, interspecies love affairs, plane crashes and Gypsy kidnappings. These narratives, which shapeshift and interpenetrate, contain everything form the rhapsodies of a night nurse, to a lyrical meditation on the egg, to lists of wryly named sexual positions. Krusoe’s universe is ...

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Overview

Jim Krusoe’s beset and bemused narrators are awash in a solution of Donald Barthelme’s worthy absurdities and Kafka’s mutating humor. In these surreal, dystopian tales, characters find their way into and out of Plato’s cave, mental hospitals, interspecies love affairs, plane crashes and Gypsy kidnappings. These narratives, which shapeshift and interpenetrate, contain everything form the rhapsodies of a night nurse, to a lyrical meditation on the egg, to lists of wryly named sexual positions. Krusoe’s universe is full of amazing chaos and deadpan astonishment.

When you enter Jim Krusoe’s wittily indeterminate world, your first instinct is to grope around for a literary coordinate. At first he reminds you of Kafka: the dreamlike inconsequentiality and gentle-sinister comedy—the half-human animals and evanescent temptresses. But the America that Krusoe inhabits is spelt with a C, not a K. He is robustly situated in his time and place, and he has a lilt that is all his own. In the end, he stopped reminding me of anyone. Jim Krusoe is an original. — Martin Amis

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"Close by the fabulous faux Tudor home where I live these days, there is a notorious pedagogue of literature who is known for his dictum, `Tell a dream; lose a reader.'" So begins one characteristically bizarre, deadpan sequence in this very funny debut collection. Reading Krusoe is like listening to a great storyteller who constantly interrupts himself, remembering even better tales than the one he started telling, who springs irony after goofy irony on his readers, usually with perfect comic timing and an offhand wit that recalls, more than anyone else, Mark Leyner. A second-grader becomes an overnight morphine addict after smoking marijuana one time; a prisoner in France has a jail diet that consists of freshly baked baguettes and designer mineral water; a conscientious objector accidentally sets 20 fellow protesters on fire while burning his draft card. And yet a heart beats beneath Krusoe's madcap: his stories capture the absurdities and clichs of everyday lives with notable manic aplomb. (Oct.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780965187961
  • Publisher: New Harbinger Publications
  • Publication date: 3/28/1999
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 8.19 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author

Jim Krusoe's stories and poems have appeared in the Antioch Review, Bomb, the Iowa Review and the Santa Monica Review. His essays have appeared in the Los Angeles Times Book Review, the Florida Review, and Manoa. He teaches writing at Santa Monica College and Antioch University.

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