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Watch for our reviews.
Devoted followers of ZOOM STREET will be familiar with the late French writer Pascal Garnier. Indeed, Garnier quickly became one of my favorite practitioners of noir fiction after I read his short novel, THE PANDA THEORY in 2014. The author manages to blend eerie, atmospheric suspense with jolts of black humor.
Gallic Books has, for years, been treating American readers to superb translations of the author’s noirish novelettes in compact, uniform editions. If you’ve missed these stand-alones, you’re in luck because the publisher has just released GALLIC NOIR (Vol. 1), a collection of three Garnier novels. This is the first of three volumes and in addition to THE PANDA THEORY, it includes HOW’S THE PAIN? and THE A26.
I suggest you start with this collection—especially since it contains my fave—and by the time you’re finished you’ll be hungry for Gallic Noir: Volume 2.
As for the cover… my first reaction was: Aha!—a hook to lure beach-goers in search of JAWS! But then I realized the shark was a good metaphor for Garnier’s fiction, as the menace lies below the surface of the mundane, and a strong undertow draws you out… just beyond the lifeguard’s reach.
Alphonse Allais (1854-1905) was France’s greatest humorist. His elegance, scientific curiosity, preoccupation with language and logic, wordplay and flashes of cruelty inspired Alfred Jarry, as well as succeeding generations of Surrealists, Pataphysicians, and Oulipians. THE SQUADRON’S UMBRELLA collects 39 of Allais’s funniest stories — many originally published in the legendary paper LE CHAT NOIR, written for the Bohemians of Montmartre. Included are such classic pranks on the reader as “The Templars” (in which the plot becomes secondary to remembering the hero’s name) and “Like the Others” (in which a lover’s attempts to emulate his rivals lead to fatal but inevitable results.) These tales have amused and inspired generations, and now English readers can enjoy the master absurdist at his best. As the author promises, this book contains no umbrella and the subject of squadrons is “not even broached.”
Whenever a novel by Eckhard Gerdes appears, it’s a cause for celebration. His books are filled with the unexpected. He has a big bag of tricks that make many of us envious, and his works contain hidden pleasures and manic wit. Experimental? You betcha, but only in the best sense.of that exasperating word, for Gerdes never forgets the reader–he engages you — challenges you, tickles you and kicks your ass.
Hugh Moore (pun intended) was originally published in 2010, but the book was hard to come by. So here’s a spanking new edition from Heroinum Press in Australia and I’m ready for some fine German brew, an overstuffed sofa, and a good reading lamp.
That this book features a foreword by Miriam Patchen, the widow of the great poet & novelist Kenneth Patchen, speaks volumes (no pun intended). Indeed, Eckhard Gerdes embodies the spirit of Kenneth Patchen – a sublime mixture of humor (OK, pun intended) and protest. But that’s as far as II’ll go here. As Magritte might have said (had he been an American), this is not a book review. This is a command: get Hugh Moore, read it immediately, and then we’ll talk.
New from Black Scat Books!
News from artist TERRI LLOYD…
“A life lived in silence is not a life.” Join us for a Friday night, June 6th screening of new dasring documentary AI WEIWEI THE FAKE CASE at the Laemmle Pasadena Playhouse Cinema, presented by the Haggus Society, with a special introduction from Terri Lloyd, artist & Haggus Society co-director!
Tickets, available Mon 6/3: http://ow.ly/xpmc5
Join the Facebook event for more details: http://on.fb.me/SbCBfN
The film will play at LA’s Laemmle Royal & Pasadena’s Laemmle Playhouse June 6-12 and in Laemmle Claremont matinees only June 6-7.
I’m told the ticket link won’t be live until Monday. Apparently they haven’t locked in the show time. It will be some time between 7–8 p.m.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.