Daniel Clausen's Reviews > The Beard

The Beard by Andersen Prunty
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Oct 04, 09

Read in October, 2009


Warning: One or two spoilers in the mix.

So I traded this book for a copy of my own and I don't regret it.

An elephant wind. That’s what this book is. You probably don’t know what that means. If you try to picture it your mind, you might get some idea of what the book is. You’ll definitely know what that means after you read the book and then you can decide whether that statement is accurate or not—but for now, perhaps it’s sufficient to say that the book is an elephant wind. I took up the book in the midst of doing some very difficult school research and came away with renewed optimism in life, the universe, and everything.

What’s the book about? It’s about growing up and growing old; it’s about writing a book and abandoning it; it’s about listening to records alone in your room at a time when you wish that everything would just fade into the background; it’s about randomness and large creatures that look like whales but have human butts so that when they come out of the water, they moon you. It’s about the comfort of having a beard, but also about tripped out firemen who are on something and so who jump into fires.

It’s “absurdist” fiction, or “bizzarro” fiction, certainly. But in another sense, I think this book is also slacker fiction. When I opened up the book, man oh man, I was in need of some slacker fiction in my life. Fiction that kind of wanders around, tries to befriend you, then falls asleep on your couch for a week. That may sound bad, and in some parts of the book, I admit it’s easy to get lost—but I thought it was comfortable to read; maybe I was just in the right mood. In other ways it’s like eating a creativity sandwich. I came up with like three ideas for stories while reading this book. At one point in the book, one of the characters says, if you chase something then it only gets further away. One of the virtues of this book is that it won’t try to hard to get you to like it—it just is what it is, and for me it’s fairly easy to befriend a piece of writing that comfortable with itself.
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message 1: by Julie (new)

Julie Daniel,
I even like reading your reviews, so I'm pretty sure I'm going to like reading your book. Thanks for sending me the copy. If I love it, I'll be compelled to send you a check. I like to see authors recompensed for their hard work, but I'm not above snagging a gem from the remaindered pile. I just plain love books, not only are they entertainment, they're also beautiful works of art (as my guy pointed out).

Write on!


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