Sunday, September 14, 2014
These Books Will Change Your Life - King Shit, 33 Fragments of Sick-Sad Living, and The Mustache He's Always Wanted But Could Never Grow by the Brian Alan Ellis.
So we are travel and read and compulsion. We are also completist, which may have something to do with any author willing to pose in a bathtub, but may just as well have as much to do with availability and length of said books, and the ultimately unique slice sick-sad life said author aspires to capture and elevate into a literature all their own. Not that the collected works of Brian Alan Ellis - King Shit, 33 Fragments of Sick-Sad Living, and The Mustache He's Always Wanted But Could Never Grow - a novel, flash fictions, and a short story collection respectively, are wholly unique. There is a distinct Bukowski vibe to them, which cannot be ignored. But that is not intended as a criticism, it is instead an effort to create some context for work that speaks to a people that normally get so little attention: the blue collar, under-employed denizens who haunt grim, dead-end neighborhoods, bars, and couches, as they try to figure out how to get laid, fix there fucked-up relationships, find work, or care for their damaged family members, all of whom exist in some near dank netherworld, that so many of us scurry by on the way to somewhere else. But there is no scurry here, there is love and affection, because these are Ellis' people, and he cares about them, and whether as in King Shit, he is following them on a night long journey of drugs and violence going nowhere fast, albeit as humorously as possible; The Mustache He's Always Wanted But Could Never Grow, and its longing and fucked relationships, any and all of which, are also going nowhere fast; or 33 Fragments of Sick-Sad Living, and its protagonist's lonely, piecemeal, going nowhere fast life, Ellis knows these characters like few others writing right now, they deserve their stage, and they have been gifted with an able chronicler, who is sure to change your life, just as he has changed theirs.