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The Late Work of Margaret Kroftis (Little House on the Bowery)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  90 ratings  ·  16 reviews
A phenomenal debut novella to further establish the literary excellence of Dennis Cooper's Little House on the Bowery series.

In The Late Work of Margaret Kroftis, Mark Gluth does something I've never seen another author do: he captures perfectly the feel of daydreams. Though everybody in the book daydreams, Gluth doesn't simply describe their thoughts; instead, he does so
Paperback, 102 pages
Published January 1st 2010 by Akashic Books (first published December 11th 2009)
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Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Though the writing is tedious, it is a very good book. It moves quickly and if you tend to focus more (for better or worse) on technique than story like I do, there is much to see.

It has a frenetic melancholy. Tragedy lights on the story like dust, and the tragedy of being unremembered wends its way though it. The characters, artists all—highschool rock band, author, photographer, budding writer—cringe at their work while still creating it. They know it's bad but also know it is a monument. The
Jeff Jackson
Jan 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
One of the most affecting books I've read in ages. The pages practically pulse with longing and grief, but the prose is so electric that it never wallows in depression. It's so exquisitely written, emotionally charged, and precisely observed that reading it becomes immersive and addictive. It's short but the inventive Chinese puzzle structure folds in more action and complexity than novels three times as long. Highly recommended.
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2020
(2.5) The back of the book proclaims that this ‘groundbreaking debut demonstrates an affinity with the work of such contemporary European writers as Ágota Kristóf and Marie Redonnet'. I don’t know why I bother getting too excited anymore about such bold back cover claims. Certainly the clipped nature of Gluth’s prose holds a superficial similarity to the style of these two very fine writers, both of which I hold in high regard. But the story lacks the crucial pervasive sense of menace seeping ou ...more
Jason Anthony
Jun 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely live for stuff like this. The prose was so stark and detached. It's somehow completely void of any emotion but still dripping with melancholy. The sentences are short and declarative. There's actually very little information given, as far as things like background and setting are concerned. For instance, the reader is given no physical descriptions of the characters and the book only vaguely takes place in the Pacific Northwest. There's almost a Tao Lin quality to it, but without ou ...more
Mar 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
A very haunted but quiet book that is about grief, the sense of loss with respect to death, and the links and observations on the relationship between the life-force and the memory of it. Very elegant in its writing style. Totally unique and the book is difficult to put down.
Cooper Renner
Jul 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
As lean as Alan Garner, though in an entirely different way, a journey through approaches/responses to death in which the narration is almost completely devoid of interpretive apparatus. It reminds me of—or has a sympathy with—the writing of the barely published Deron Bauman.
Jason Pettus
Nov 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.)

For those who don't know, one of the ongoing projects over at small press Akashic Books is a series called "Little House on the Bowery," experimental short books hand-picked and edited by infamous edgeplay author Dennis Cooper; the latest for example is a novella called The Late Work of Margaret Krof
Jan 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
A beautiful book, suffused with deep melancholy. The writing is extremely spare, indeed, some of the most minimalistic I've encountered (the comparison with Agota Kristoff on the back cover--especially the first part of her trilogy, The Notebook-- is apt). There is an accumulating of emotional intensity conveyed by the chains of very short, simple delarative sentences which is quite dreamily incantory, even magical.

Mark Gluth is another tremendously talented young writer on the scene belying th
May 29, 2010 rated it it was ok
Maybe a 1.5. 90% of the sentences contained 6 words or less. It was like reading a children's book and that stilted style quickly got old. For several reasons that I'm too lazy to outline, it was hard to connect to the stories and the characters. I can appreciate the overall concept and the author has talent, I just couldn't warm up to this book.
May 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a strange one. It compelled me to write in the margins and keep reading through my lunch break at work. The end made everything just so beautiful and wonderful and was the main reason I gave this a 4/5. Before the last 15 pages I had thought I would be rating it somewhere in the 2.5/5 range. However the ending got to me.
Jul 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
This just wasn't my cup of tea. I didn't like how the author changed point of views. And it was just too abiguous at times for me. And ultimately, when I read the last page, "Pretentious" was the first word that came to mind.
Mar 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
The Late Work of Margaret Kroftis is a composition of daydreams and short stories. The novella was so disturbing, beautiful, and painful to read, I just couldn't stop reading. I highly recommend this book.
Jun 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Not sure if this is a poem or a novel. You should read it.
Søren Nilsson
Mar 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written. definitely tears shed.
Logan L
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I never knew something so sparse could make me feel so much.
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“Four girls about Mira's age were standing out on the deck on the upper level of the ferry. They were wearing hoodies, sweatpants and jeans. One of the girls was staring at the screen on her phone. She was talking. He called, but then said he wasn't going to come out or whatever. They sipped out of Starbucks cups and bottles of water. The wind was in their hair and the sun was in their eyes. Because they were alive I wished they were dead.” 0 likes
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