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369 pages, perfect
First published January 15, 2012
"I am weary of this"
"You just aren't creative enough."
*it has always been my policy to rate books based on how I feel about them rather than their "merit."
"... Beth championed it near weekly in her column for the gina and krista round-robin. It is a jigsaw of writing and you find yourself falling down the rabbit hole. 'A book to ponder and to read for the sheer life on the page,' Beth observed.12/7/12 A flattering review appeared in The Chicagoist for A Greater Monster. Some highlights:
"This is a psychedelic-Burroughs-dream and an aggravated-Lewis-Carroll-nightmare, a world in which we must continuously re-adjust our bearings....The brilliance of his imagination aside, we must also consider that this novel is a lot to absorb....Yes, the novel is difficult to read at times. Yes, you will have to read certain passages more than once and often read them in various ways. Of course, your face will start to hurt from the perplexed look you'll be wearing over the duration of the book. However, you will be refreshed with new characters and situations every few pages--all of which will be other-worldly. You will stumble onto sparks, which will snowball into a catharsis more than once. Most of all, you will be challenged as both a reader and a thinker. If the pros outweigh the cons for you, then David David Katzman might just be your new favorite author."5/27/12 Received a thoughtful review in the Psychedelic Press UK here: http://fb.me/1L1NL4ebJ The reviewer says:
"The book’s blurb describes it as 'Innovative and astonishing… [breathing] new life into the possibilities of fiction' and, without doubt, the novel lives up to this description: A psychedelic journey into the splintered mind of a life on the desiring edge."5/1/12 A Greater Monster has won a Gold Medal as an "Outstanding Book of the Year" in the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards. So say the awards: "These medalists were chosen from our regular entries for having the courage and creativity necessary to take chances, break new ground, and bring about change, not only to the world of publishing, but to our society." There were only 10 winners in different categories out of 5000 entries. The judges of the competition sent me the following review quotes from their evaluation:
"Imaginative, explosive and poetic. A real trip!"1/27/12 - Another lovely review, this one from from Reader Views critic Paige Lovitt. Full review is here. Last paragraph reads:
"A brain-singeing look at humanity at its strangest."
"Dark and edgy, like a Blade Runner for English majors."
Intelligently written and displayed, A Greater Monster is truly like no book I have ever read before. While visions of Alice in Wonderland strayed through the back of my thoughts, this book is so much more. I admire David David Katzman’s creativity and the amount of work that must have gone into creating such an exotic literary gift for readers who like to read beyond the lines of contemporary fiction.Received a review from Midwest Book Review. Here are the highlights:
[When] we see something unusual, we rarely expect it to be the tip of the iceberg. A Greater Monster is a novel from David David Katzman who brings readers into a unique alternate reality that has many twists and turns ... With unique humor and plenty to think about, A Greater Monster is a fine and much recommended choice.Several writers were kind enough to read my book in manuscript form before its release. They had the following to say:
That silo, filled with chorus girls and grainI'll go with those girls any day, just as I'd follow David Katzman's muse anywhere. Just don't ask me to provide a coherent report on the journey when/if I return.
burned down last night and grew back tall.
The grain escaped to the river. The girls ran
crying to the moon.
…pustular skin like over-boiled cauliflower…Bishop Berkeley, anyone?
Ron’s voice is a rickety old shack I’m scared to enter.
Life is like a game of … whudyacallit? You put the thing in the thing, and you twiddle it? And you could die or not die. Right? That’s life.
His face will be handsome to the point of blandness, like a computer’s idea of beauty.
A ’n A was a full-on hunane. Cruel and selfish—self-hatred infused from the environment. Sickened senses—feelings pulled along by the torrents of culture. Alien. No perspective to see that the avatar is paper-thin—a tissue mask draped over being. A vague passenger on a meaningless journey of habit, isolated and separated from living. Memory paints the illusion of depth—the hunane is even willing to think of itself as bad because then at least incomprehensibility drives it, a secret within, a soul; when in fact, there is no soul, only the present and the past clinging to it like a petulant child.
…feeling folded up inside, a blanket in wartime.
YOU HAVE SEEN IMPOSSIBLE THINGS, HAVE YOU NOT?”
“All things change, don’t they? Good and bad. That is nature. That’s why nothing truly exists. Things are merely ideas. And a book … a book is a special idea. A mental form that merely appears solid. Thoughts. Ideas are nowhere. Where do they live? They exist, and they don’t exist. Intangible things have so much power. Books were once worshipped.”
…the stone beneath my feet slaps like a jilted lover—
Maybe they succeeded in their desire to be one with objects.
Turn ’em out and turn ’em into animals. Food to be hunted. Higher intellect merely allowed them to distance themselves. Rationalize the selfishness. And the lower intellect, the instincts they supposedly outgrew gave the driving force. The whole house of cages was built on that.”
I have been called centimental before because I am one hundred times crazy with love…
I can’t not help wanting to make sense of things. Anything. To make things better. I need a solid … ground to hold on to. I remember living some other life. All I can remember of it is a vague sense of unease, a haze of anxiety. Brief moments cut out that happened around me, sketches of faces and things that don’t make sense. It was all fuzzy back then, and now … memories are more fuzzy. Words make sense when I hear them, but I can’t dredge up an understanding of why they mean anything.
…this net of words is but a poor player strutting on the stage of the mind, a wisp of wind in a hurricane, a halfhearted gesture in a field of being (like a flower with pollen every shade of yellow tilting from the onset of orange at the tips to the palest of cameo at the center), an illimitable ocean of consciousness dwindled down to a droplet as it dashes from word to word~de(to)spite all that I write for the twig of pleasure.
Consciousness is where all the sadness lies.
“If this is a dream, then I’m just talking to myself.” “We only talk to ourselves.” “Everything is wrong here.” “Isn’t it wrong everywhere?” “I never wanted to come here. I never wanted to leave.”