What am I reading? Glad you asked. Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel, by Bob Thurber, a dear New England writer-friend who as a short, flash and micro fiction guru has taught me a great deal about writing lean, straight-to-the-heart fiction over the last dozen years (but only occasionally have I managed to apply that wisdom so well).
This debut novel by Thurber was released this past May 1st by Casperian Books. Naturally I’ve had my authographed copy for several weeks now. I started reading it right away and then had to put it aside for a few weeks to finish up a number of my own stories (I try not to read other fiction when I’m writing fiction myself). Plus, knowing about the emotional content of the story, I definitely wanted to experience it full-on with little disraction and without too much down time between readings to adjust. I wanted to be emotionally disturbed because it is an emotionally disturbing book…a dysfunctional novel, just as the subtitle says.
Paperboy follows the troubled, dysfunctional life of paperboy Jack Fisher, an abused and neglected youngster. Your heart certainly goes out to this tough little guy as he endures the awful things that he, and his slightly older sister, Kelly, has to endure. There’s some dark, seedy stuff in this story. And it’s riveting and sharply written in that direct, no non-sense way and authentic voice for which Thurber is renouned. Obviously it’s still too early for me to properly review it, so here are some links to provide the description, order information, some reviews, and some interviews with man I affectionately call The Maestro of Micro Fiction:
Excerpt at NthWord: http://shorts.nthword.com/2011/04/coloring-christ-excerpt-from-paperboy.html
Hometown press / Pawt. Times ran a story: http://www.pawtuckettimes.com/content/pawtucket-native-writes-first-novel
Local press / Sun Chronicle ran a story: http://www.thesunchronicle.com/articles/2011/05/02/news/9221663.txt
Interview w/ Mourning Goats: http://mourninggoats.blogspot.com/2011/05/15-bob-thurber_01.html