Tag Archives | Novels

The Cold War as Seen Through the Eyes of Dogs: ‘Belka, Why Don’t You Bark?’

For the first time in English, from celebrated post-modern author Hideo Furukawa, comes Belka, Why Don’t You Bark?, an epic of magical realism as seen through the eyes of several military dogs:

In 1943, Japanese troops retreat from the Aleutian island of Kiska, leaving 4 military dogs behind. One dies, and the others are taken under the protection of U.S. troops. Meanwhile in the USSR, a KGB military dog handler kidnaps the daughter of a Japanese yakuza. Named after the Russian astronaut dog Strelka, the girl develops a psychic connection with canines… The thought provoking adventure continues, following the dogs and their descendants through the Korean conflict, the Space Race, and the collapse of Communism.

Click here for an excerpt of Belka Why Don’t You Bark?

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Occult Inspirations

Bulwer Lytton

Trust Mark Frauenfelder of BoingBoing to persuade erudite author Joscelyn Godwin to choose his favorite novels inspired by the occult. Here Godwin and writing partner Guido Mina di Sospiro pick five in addition to their own The Forbidden Book:

Zanoni, by Bulwer Lytton, is the premier occult novel of the nineteenth century. Lytton was a novelist and playwright, a dandy, a politician, and eventually a Baron. He is supposed to have been initiated into a German Rosicrucian order, and to have been in the Orphic Circle, a London group that used child clairvoyants. Dickens and Disraeli were his friends, but they didn’t follow his arcane interests. For instance, they weren’t with him when French occult author and ceremonial magus Eliphas Levi, in Lytton’s presence, evoked the spirit of the Greek Neopythagorean philosopher Apollonius of Tyana on a London rooftop. Zanoni is a description of initiations by one who has evidently passed through them.

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WikiLeaks: the Novel?

The Panama LaughAuthor Thomas S. Roche has written a new zombie novel which incorporates WikiLeaks, conspiracy forums, and viral YouTube videos, studying the new wasteland where military violence intersects corporate disinformation.

“I think WikiLeaks represents a very important impulse and the start of a strong movement toward anti-corporate sentiment and the demand for government transparency,” he explains in this new interview, “As ineffectual as that movement may end up being – because it started so late in the process of corporate control being consolidated…”

He moves from discussing fictional zombie-fighting to the brutal real-world military violence in neo-colonial nations around the world. And he ultimately wonders if our wireless technology-enhanced future will also include the potential for massive global disinformation.… Read the rest

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A Novel Starring The IRS? David Foster Wallace’s Posthumous Jest

David Foster Wallace

David Foster Wallace. Photo: Steve Rhodes (CC)

There’s no doubt that The Pale King, the new, posthumous novel by David Foster Wallace about the lives of workers at the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, has generated more interest from reviewers than almost anything else of recent vintage. There are reviews in almost every publication that’s ever run a book review.

Foster Wallace’s publishers timed the publication to coincide with the American tax filing date of April 15th, and certainly it’s a good hook for many reviewers. In this Sunday’s New York Times Book Review section there are three separate pieces devoted to the book, but the review that’s attracted the most attention from the media, if not necessarily with readers, is Jonathan Franzen’s for The New Yorker.

For some reason it has royally p*ssed off other lit mags and blogs that The New Yorker decided to make the review available only to people who “like” its Facebook fan page.… Read the rest

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