Saturday, December 1, 2007

A striking coming-of-age tale - Lucky Man gets CCLaP'd.

We at TBWCYL, Inc. are thrilled to let you know that Lucky Man has received a most excellent and amazingly in-depth book review from Jason Pettus and the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography. We hope you will take a look at the full review, though if you are so inclined you can start with the below paragraph. Many thanks Jason, you rock.

"And that brings us to Lucky Man, a striking coming-of-age tale that is also the first novel by Chicago author Ben Tanzer, and on top of that is the very first book by new basement press Manx Media. And I'm happy to report that the novel falls into the first camp of flawed-character stories when it comes to what I was saying above; that I ended up enjoying the story and its deeply screwed-up characters quite immensely, precisely because of Tanzer's deft personal style and of the brutal minimalism used to tell its Larry-Clark-style story. It is an unflinching look at the late teens and early twenties of the typical American male, a sometimes horrid stare into the maw of cruelty that can exist between such people in such a milieu; but it is also a survey of the American casual drug scene from the early '80s to the millennium, told in the order that so many Midwestern rural males actually experience it, from beer and weed in high school to acid and ecstasy at the state college, to cocaine and crack after school when the crushing reality of grown-up redneck life comes crashing around them. As someone who grew up in a rural area of Missouri myself, I can attest that Lucky Man spoke deeply to me, in a true voice that mirrors many of my own experiences from the years being discussed here; I mean, granted, it's an exclusive look at the bad side of such experiences, a bleak cautionary tale that is much more Sam Shepard than Garrison Keilor, but as long as you're up for a dark story that relies on a white-trash setting for its flavor, this is a pretty great tale indeed."


Nick said...

Congrats, Ben. A very nice review indeed. And each word is more than deserved.

Ben said...

Thanks man, much appreciated, as is the support.