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Reel: A Novel

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  66 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Reel follows two lives that collide at a Seattle punk show, and the strange consequences that arise. Timon serves as the hyperobservant western outpost of his family's business, verifying artifacts and losing himself in deafening music and isolation. Marianne fears stagnation, and has begun to crave the rootless travel of her youth. After a tense meeting, each proceeds thr ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published October 11th 2016 by Rare Bird Books, A Barnacle Book
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Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  66 ratings  ·  12 reviews

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Janie C.
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is rich in texture and is built intricately with words that both balance and refine the text. It is the story of two alienated people, their brief intersection, and the ways in which they coincidentally affect each others' lives. Both characters are reeling along on their own courses without set directions. Both are searching for a sense of self, and their longing to belong are equally matched by their need to pull away from attachments. The story does not rely on action to pull the re ...more
Apr 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: i-wrote-it
This novel, it's pretty good! And the guy who wrote it, he's all right too. ...more
Aug 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Read 9/5/16 - 9/11/16
3 Stars - Recommended to fans of slow moving, hibrow fiction
Pages: 157
Publisher: Rare Bird Lit
Releasing: October



- lose one's balance and stagger or lurch violently.

Back in 1993, a fairly large group of friends and I spent the afternoon moshing and floating over the crowd at an STP, Flaming Lips, and Butthole Surfers concert. There were so many of us that we needed to ride in multiple vehicles to get there. Some of the people I knew well, some I recognized from b
John Madera
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Tobias Carroll’s Reel is a deft portrait of two escapists, one sadly caving ever inward, the other potentially perilously outward, both along their respective ways accidentally colliding into each other then careening away from each other, only to repeatedly tenuously connect in a series of strange coincidences. The novel features many plays on, off, and against the various denotations and connotations of the book’s title, as in the various characters’ off-kilter behaviors, Timon’s disruptive un ...more
Robin Bonne
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
Slow, but with beautifully written prose.
Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
While it took me a few pages to immerse myself completely into the story, once I did, the words gripped me and held on tight. The character of Timon has a haunting quality; he's torn between a family-mandated professional life and his inner anger, an "id" which unleashes itself on late-night dance floors. His counterpart, a stifled artist, is lost despite her attraction to maps. Literary fiction that will leave you thinking; very solid writing. ...more
Apr 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Tobias Carroll - A guy who knows how to put himself out there. Check out Vol 1 Brooklyn!
Feb 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
Pretension abounds in this precious little novel. It's clear that the author loves his words, and he's in desperate need of a good editor. Reel is basically a 20-page short story stretched to 156 pages with unnecessary SAT words -- the book contains the word "preternatural" more than once -- and drawn-out, yet still staggeringly unclear descriptions of exercise routines and packaging materials.

Incidentally, I couldn't tell you much about the actual story because I found my mind drifting for page
Devon Ashby
Feb 16, 2021 rated it did not like it
Turgid and insufferable
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
Have you ever met someone who's in love with hearing themselves talk? This is that in book form ...more
Nick Scandy
Oct 27, 2016 rated it liked it
I dig it. Feels a little bit like Dana Spiotta in the way that music and art is weaved into one's internal chemistry—though with a '90s/'00s-searching kind of narrative arc.

It also makes me want to go grab a copy of this referenced Rachel's and Matmos collab record. All I've got is Music for Egon Schiele and I'm feeling like one of the less-in-the-know characters of Reel. Like Timon's Dad or something. That dude isn't even that good at verifying shit.
Jan 18, 2017 marked it as to-read
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book in a goodreads giveaway.
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