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]