Posts Tagged ‘Strange Cowboy’

Tyrant Books Midnight Release: Strange Cowboy / Sky Saw

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

New York Tyrant/Tyrant Books has recently brought two more important texts into the world.

STRANGE COWBOY BY SAM MICHEL

SKY SAW BY BLAKE BUTLER

If you’re familiar with the work of these authors, you don’t need me to tell you it is awesome (as in inspiring awe) and wonderful (as in screaming waffle-irons). If you’ve never held an object from Tyrant Books in your hands, I suggest you find a remedy. First lines are below.

My mother sits, dead, could be, though I believe she lives, though she is old in life, and should she not be dead, then might at least appear to some to be more dead than living.
Now

White cone descended in sound blister

25 Points: Strange Cowboy

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Strange Cowboy: Lincoln Dahl Turns Five
by Sam Michel
Tyrant Books, 2012
200 pages / $14.95 buy from Tyrant, SPD, Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. I don’t remember my fifth birthday.

2. Lincoln Dahl, though, remembers his.

3. Lincoln Dahl is the narrator of Sam Michel’s novel, Strange Cowboy, subtitled Lincoln Dahl Turns Five. I suppose the subtitle might make the first phrase of this point redundant—so let me add that there are two Lincoln Dahl’s, the father, our hero, and his son, whose birthday it is.

4. The novel takes place on the day of the party for the younger Lincoln’s fifth birthday. But the actual events of the day serve only as a kind of grounding for the elder Lincoln’s mess of memories.

5. If this book were attempted by a writer any less capable than Sam Michel, it might very well be awful.

6. I’m a sucker for books that play with memory. Especially childhood memories. I like that they’re complicated mysteries. I like that they’re relatable. Everyone has a childhood littered with blocks for good language to rearrange and play with.

7. With so much of memory, we have to take our parents’ word for it. Especially birthdays One through Five. The Fifth is really the first we might be able to remember. The Fifth birthday is a kind of second birth, one of memory. Maybe it’s the line between child and kid.

8. Now the younger Lincoln is five, and he’s going to remember his father. The elder Lincoln knows it from experience.

9. On being a good father:

I hear my wife inform me that my duty to the boy, in part, is to provide for him a model…As it stands, my son’s past with me has been a woozy spiral of neglect and woundings. Lucky for us—for me, she meant—he isn’t likely to remember. Till now.

10. On making it up to him:

“’He’s at the age where he remembers,’ said my wife. ‘Give the boy a party. Anything is possible. I bet he’ll forget you were the one who burned his drawings.’” (more…)