It took me a couple of books, frankly, to learn to enjoy Momus’s writing as much as I like his music. He trained himself for years as an abstract thinker and deliverer of snappy lines rather than as a builder of narrative in prose form, after all. It took him a couple of books, more frankly, to really get his head around the fact that an idea that’s big enough to build a song around”€”with all the gimcracks of musical pleasure and lyrical repetition that are at your disposal”€”may not have the heft to float you through 30 pages of text. 2009’s The Book of Jokes often felt quite gimmicky, but Herr F. is far more well-built.

Once again, though, you needn”€™t take my word for it before you bet your money: you needn”€™t bet money. For reasons only a German art collective could talk an author into, the book is free and quick to grab, available in just about any electronic form you”€™d care for here. (The German version is free too.) Don”€™t be immediately disgusted by the fact that the main character is dead and surrounded by nothingness in the first sentence; fear not, the flashbacks begin before the existential boredom sets in, at least for the reader. You can check for yourself.

Which gives me a bit of extra space here for an …

Update: Roy M. Griffis’s post-Islamo-apocalyptic political thriller The Big Bang is out now. (I wrote about his historical fiction back in July.) This is high-level genre fiction from a writer who has so far been treated as an amateur by most everybody outside of the Liberty Island website and publishing start-up; his work may not be literary in the Nobel-seeking, peace-and-loving, positive-thinking sense, but it is a great pleasure to read.

Note: Since I know you”€™re wondering: Momus’s eye patch is not a hipster affectation. He had an amoeba problem in his eye. Please send books for review to: [email protected]


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