Saturday, March 06, 2010
Editorial by Arthur Graham
(CreateSpace / 1-450-55078-9 / 978-1-450-55078-9 / February 2010 / 136 pages / $9.99 / B&N $8.99)
This little book named Editorial has its flaws, but it does, indeed, channel Kurt Vonnegut in the same manner that Mahogany Rush and Randy Hansen channeled Jimi Hendrix shortly after his death in 1970. I could stop right here, because this is all you really need to know about Editorial. I have been a Vonnegut fan ever since my sister gave me a copy of Cat’s Cradle for my birthday back in the late ’60’s, just as I have remained a Hendrix fan since the first time I heard “Purple Haze” on my AM transistor radio. Although I have read many more of the Vonnegut classics, none has impressed me more than Cat’s Cradle, and I am pleased to report the similarities expressed in Editorial. If you liked Kurt’s famous, strange little excursion into the ozone, you should give this little copycat a read. Even if you are not impressed, the experience will not take long.
There are several obvious weaknesses in Editorial. The book is exceptionally short: with its large font and low page count, it is considerably shorter even than Cat’s Cradle. Every time ellipses are employed, and Mr. Graham has given them a full-time job, there are no periods closing the sentences. The usual lack of POD proofreading is evident, too, although it is not excessive. The author must have spent at least ten minutes designing the cover, and there are places in the terse but convoluted plotline that easily leave the reader a bit confused.
I know nothing about this author, as nothing seems to be available online about him, not even his age, although the narrator of the strange tale claims to be mature. If Mr. Graham had not mentioned the name Vonnegut in his review request to me, I would have dismissed this short, silly little work out of hand. However, the author did mention one of my favorite classic authors, so I read the first few pages of Editorial at Amazon before rejecting it. In spite of my complaints, I was not disappointed! Like The Milkman I reviewed here a while back, Editorial is clever, tacky, and even a bit obscene. Since Porky’s and American Pie are two of my favorite comedies, I can obviously handle a few of these stated qualities. The crude hand drawings and the unexpected use of XXXX’s instead of words in a few places are particularly clever.
Don’t shoot the messenger if you choose to read Editorial and find my comparison to Vonnegut ludicrous. There is only one Mahogany Rush album in my collection. Although Mahogany Rush 4 has always been my favorite, there is no substitute for the original, so my Hendrix collection is extensive. Kurt Vonnegut was one of the original masters of what you might call psychedelic reading material. There’s a new Randy Hansen on the scene carrying his magical banner.
See also: Editorial at B&N