Friday, October 2, 2009

Venus Drive by Sam Lipsyte

Sam Lipsyte's debut collection of short stories is both funny and painful--a pairing I might say sums up the majority of his work--peopled by addicts, telemarketers, peep show clientele, and the like. Says Time Out New York, "You’ve probably never heard syntax so artfully skewed, or laughed so hard at someone else’s dread." (This is technically in reference to a live reading, hence the "heard" but it still rings true, I think.)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Saddies by David Stromberg

While interning for Soft Skull Press, I worked their table at the Small Press Book Fair, which more or less consisted of Soft Skull, Akashic Books, and a bunch of self-publishing weirdos. Seriously. The author of this book was tabling nearby and I ended up striking up an awkward conversation with him, which resulted in my buying this teeny little book of scribbled drawings with oddly humorous captions. (Please note that I was not referring to him when I made the remark about "self-publishing weirdos.")

After thumbing through the book again, it's not quite as funny as I remember. (Sorry, David Stromberg.) There is a definite obsession with Elvis wigs, and wigs in general.

This is the best one, I think.

I actually swore that I saw this guy working at Penguin years later. I always meant to stop and ask him if he was the author of Saddies but thought it might come off seeming a little weird, and now that guy, whoever he was, doesn't work there anymore anyway.