Archive for Andersen Prunty

Sociopaths in Love

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 1, 2013 by royalmanaball

This here’s story about Billy Joe and Bobbi Sue…

I was going to give this a run-of-the-mill review on Amazon, but there is too much to cover with Andersen Prunty’s Sociopaths in Love, that I had to blog about it. It’s mean and, if it could have emotion, just sad.

And that’s a good thing!

Note the badly-drawn penis.

Note the badly-drawn penis.

In a nutshell, two sociopathic serial killers hit the fuckin’ road, shack up in beautiful Dayton, Ohio and get down to business. Don’t expect a “based on Fugate and Starkweather” revue just because they are a terror couple. Their gender and relationship are the only factors comparable.

This book is really the examination of getting everything you want and still becoming a suburbanoid blob. You will get into a routine, you will get fat, and you will get lazy. You will still need to get drunk because your awesome, new reality still doesn’t cut the mustard. It doesn’t matter if you are immune to society, law, economy, morals – you still will develop an idful value system.

This book will be compared to American Psycho. But please, readers… don’t. Just don’t.

Oh, shit, here I go anyway…

Patrick Bateman is a psychopath. Totally different animal. In Ellis’ novel, it is my firm belief that this character didn’t harm a fly. A psychopath has a rich, overly-fulfilling fantasy life that sometimes seeps into our prime material reality. Like sociopaths, they don’t have to be deadly, but the headspace is a much different place for their ilk.

I’d elect to compare this work with Alissa Nutting’s Tampa. Both Prunty and Nutting render the internal views of sociopaths. Many reviewers decry Nutting’s character of Celeste as one-dimensional. Well, she’s supposed to be. Unlike a psychopath, a sociopath (usually) doesn’t have much going on in the heart department, so don’t expect much more than repetitive obsessions. You know – hot cars, dope shoes and fucking people’s skulls. I’m not saying these folk are stupid, not by any means, but dimensionality in character would be slow and sparse, if existent at all.

In Sociopaths in Love, skulls are indeed fucked and pounds of human flesh are devoured. Yet, Prunty manages to (mostly) avoid the explicit sex and graphic gore, and I like this. Such stuff usually happens “off camera” and the stomach turns with his descriptions of the very liquid aftermaths. Erica Haha is illustrated with a deeper diligence than Nutting’s Celeste, but still, he crafts sociopathy to a “T.”

I give it five inverted pentagrams. Prunty’s rendition of Erica and Walt Haha is well nailed for these personality types and it’s a drama that will stick with you for a long time after you have hit the final page. Just buy it.

Oh, and for your listening pleasure:

 

 

Author Spotlight: Sam Pink

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 5, 2013 by royalmanaball

When there’s no more room in hell, the dead won’t say “hello.”

I do not like green eggs and ham..

I do not like green eggs and ham…

Chicago is one of those places that simply does things its own way. Sure, every city on Earth has its local flavor and color, but the Windy City has the power to make things happen. Its seminal force is strong and the town possesses a track record to prove it. Industrial, post-rock, post-jazz, house and acid house all have been spawned within her city limits.

There’s just something about this burg that bends rules and pushes envelopes, but not in a “more and faster,” vertical fashion. A concept might erupt in New York, L.A. or London but once it hits Chicago – well, anything goes. The artform in question will be indistinguishable from its maiden article.

Sam Pink is an author that casts all care to the wind (pun intended) and writes from what little is left of his heart. As one Amazon reviewer had claimed, his writing “makes you feel kind of icky.”

Mr. Pink’s work is of the “Bizarro” genre (whatever that means anymore) and, yes, it’s very bizarre, yet so goddamn real that you have to wonder what in the hell happened to the American society in the last twenty years. Pink’s books actually hurt to read, and because of that, his mission is accomplished. You now have the opportunity to feel something in a world that has neutralized you.

On the topic of Chicago, Sam paints the city as a character within itself. The “L,” actual named eateries and cornershops are all present here. The streets exist here as well, and if you live in Chicago, you can actually map out where his characters are walking.

Before, I’ve stated that Andersen Prunty may be the Graham Greene of the 21st Century, but Sam Pink is its Charles Bukowski. But you have to remember, Sam lives in a different time and economy than that of Chuck. As such, he will filter his experiences in accordance to those factors. The characters that populate his pages all suffer the same lives as the protagonist and everybody is a loser, but it’s a similar mentality nonetheless. There’s no conflict of “us vs. them.” All here share the same leaking boat. It’s not about drugs or booze or any lavish parade of self-destruction. It just is.

God, the dialog! It’s so painful to read it, but this is what people actually sound like! When I go to the checkout at my local Dominick’s, I equate the brainless chatter of the cashiers with my equally-mindless responses. Sam captures this moronic parlay to a “T.”

Plotwise, there really isn’t such in any of his books. Well, the formats aren’t rendered in some Dadaist cut-up a ’la Burroughs or Ballard, they’re quite digestible, but Pink treats you to a slice of life for the main character’s day and nothing more. The plots almost poke fun at the concept of character development, because true progress is not allowed in his world. The protagonist finishes these “tales” exactly where he begins – nowhere.

I’ve read plenty of blogs and articles about character development and how to render a character. Yes, Pink’s stories are character-driven, but the prime directives for these people rendered are to make contact with someone. In every attempt the “hero” tries to accomplish his task, it ends in a hermetic fantasy that no one will ever have the opportunity to enjoy but the reader. A schizoid ballet with only one dancer.

Bottom line: Sam Pink writes zombie novels, but novels that feature real zombies – you!

Look, I know some of you Manaballers may feel insulted by that last line (“How dare you! I’ve supped on dog meat in Kuala Lumpur! I speak fluent Albanian! I’m no zombie”), but others will relate spot-on with these notions once devouring a Pink novel. So, with that, I apologize. Well, not really… Fuck you.

But emotions are a central theme to the entirety of his catalog, and Pink captures them with such Zen grace. Fear, hate, anger and anticipation. All of these hopes for such experiences are crushed by the main character’s ego and, perhaps, medication? As stated above, everyone featured here is neutralized. Feelings are simply not allowed in his works by an invisible, unwritten law. Break it, and you could die. But maybe if I just try to…

Back when I was a state-sponsored therapist, I was instructed to teach my clients (captives) to cope. Not to deal with their issues, mind you, but to cope. Coping is a word that implies inactivity. To put up with it all. The prose of Sam Pink perfectly illustrates the lives of people who are putting up with it, whether they know it or not.

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Below is a survey of Sam’s remarkable books that I have read:

The Self-Esteem Holocaust Comes Home – More of a detached foray into writing, every story is like a rejected screenplay, but one that you secretly wish was produced.

Rontel – Not going to spoil the surprise of who “Rontel” is. Just read it.

The No Hellos Diet – The main character is YOU. Time to “live.”

Person – Five stars. Amazing.

You Hear Ambulance Sounds and Think They Are for You – A Poetry/prose hybrid. But they aren’t for you. Promise.

Hurt Others – Just don’t. Well, maybe…

Check out Sam’s site right hereCrown Yourself Then Kill Yourself!

The Future: Near and Distant Dreams

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 22, 2013 by royalmanaball

Well, it’s been a bit of a stretch since my regularly-scheduled blogging. Aside from being compelled (obsessively so) to rave on an author spotlight for the immensely talented Lada Ray, I’ve had to take a break from Royal Manaball so that I could finish book two of my opus, The Ancients and the Angels.

Yes, folks, it is done. Prepare to see The Ancients and the Angels, Book Two: Archons hit the shelves early March. Right now, this monster is in post-production.

The saga continues! So many burning questions for my readers will be answered in this volume, yet new mysteries arise! Don’t expect a logical continuation of plot or Celestials Redux with this installment. Not gonna happen.  I don’t work that way and I thank the gods for my ADHD due to this. Do expect a more in-depth examination of the spiritual and mystical realm, yet I won’t bore you with a Theosophical diadem. Archons details a more philosophical approach to my characters and the worlds around them, yet will be pure fun.

This novel is, well, quite grim. Turns of events for Maiden Quen’die Reyliss go south here. WAY south. For younger or more sensitive readers – this addition may piss you off. Too bad. Blood, puke, gore and heartbreak abound. Book Three shall be much worse. Promise.

For the uninitiated – and there are too many of you – to my series, you’ll have to buy The Ancients and the Angels, Book One: Celestials first, or you’ll be completely confused. My stories are intricate and involve quite the investment in the lives of the myriad of characters whom I’ve rendered. I am a fan of Tolstoy, after all. That, and I’m a greedy $cumbag.

Get Celestials HERE!

The Ancients and the Angels - Celestials

So, what more is in store for M.C.? Let’s see… I’m going to have to put wee Quen’die and company back in the toybox for a bit. My next literary foray is into the realm of the bizarre. I’m penning a Bizarro book chock-full of short and micro fiction, followed by a full-length Bizarro novel. Must warn you, it’s NOT YA. Nasty, filthy and scatty things abound here. It wouldn’t surprise me if I get put on the “no-fly” list after I unleash this. Rockin’!

I can’t help it! Lately, I’ve been reading the fine works of Bizarro writers like Andersen Prunty, William Pauley III, Gina Ranalli, Sam Pink and Jeff Burk. These brave souls care not for convention, and neither do I, frankly. Never did.

Good news! I have now gained the attention of my first (well, possible) literary agent! We’ll see what becomes of this, but I never want to test the energies of the universe, so I won’t go into too much detail with that. Hatching chickens and whatnot.

Right, then. More author spotilights and reviews on the way in the coming weeks and months. Get ready for surgical examinations of Gina Ranalli, Sam Pink, and many other talents. I have also gained a personal photographer to my stable- the multi-talented Indigo Moran, CEO of Enchanted Waters Photography. Soon, you shall see what I look like! (Gods help us). No, seriously, she makes me look hot. Almost as good as KISS back when they still wore makeup. Shout it out loud!

Author Spotlight – Andersen Prunty

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on December 1, 2012 by royalmanaball

I am going to try this exercise out for now. Author spotlights which focus on writers I have been following. My first in the stable is Andersen Prunty.

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Wow. This guy is a forerunner of the Bizarro movement. Bizarro is a writing genre which cares nothing for conformity in any way, shape or form. Expect pop culture references (BAD ones) and squids, porn, poop, failure, and heartbreak.

Prunty knows these attributes well and sculpts his tales like a post-po-mo Giacometti or a tarnished Brancusi. He fears no subject matter and no taboo is sacred.  While reading, enjoy disgusting sex, chronic alcoholism, Satanism, retardation, body odor, foul fluids and a crushing sense of oppression that you cannot pinpoint but in a nightmare.

These topics are all written with a spoonful of love. Sincere love.

Andersen hates what you hate, but are afraid to voice. Likewise, he loves what you are ashamed to lust for.

The Undead American Male, cuckolding, depression, oppression, abuse, racism, anti-racism, suicide, and hopeless plans for self-improvement are all fair game within his pages.

I’ve stated before that he is a Graham Greene of the 21st century, and I will not say that lightly. Many Bizarro authors will spin yarns that heap on piles upon piles of confusion-soaked gore and nonsense from the safety of their honeyed retreats, but Andersen Prunty is not afraid of his pain – or yours!

His books are Tex Avery cartoons that will make you cry. They are Disney productions that just may result in suicide.

This is not horror.  This is what you may feel when the lights go out and your bad day continues into Dreamland.

The best books are:

Overwhelming Urge – a survey into Prunty’s flash fiction. This tome gives you a good look at what he writes and what you can expect from some of his meatier compositions.

Fuckness – A chronicle of a poor child thrust on an adventure to save himself from a world that hates him. A  Lord of the Rings where Mount Doom is right in your backyard.

Jack and Mr. Grin – Why did you love her? Was she worth it?

Fill the Grand Canyon and Live Forever – Pick yourself up and kill the system.  Just wean yourself off Xanax and Wendy’s hamburgers first.

Zerostrata – Your family is full of shit.

Satanic Summer – Are you pitching for the right team? Is there one in the first place or do both forces serve the same foul master? You must decide for yourself by the end. Maybe you’re just gullible.

The Sorrow King  – Suicide may not be your decision. Sometimes, it’s unavoidable, but why?

Some of his books are not so heavy. Slag Attack, although steeped in subtext, is a post-apocalyptic survival romp and The Sex-Beast of Scurvy Island is a pornographic parody of porn-culture and Scooby-Doo.

Here we have an author to be reckoned with. He is able to take Bizarro and give such an inhuman movement humanity and I feel that is where he rises above so many of the writers in this stable. Take Lloyd Kauffman plus Harmony Korine and fuse him with David Lynch and Gaspar Noe. A true Breughel of the 21st century.

If you don’t know who any of these directors are – You suck!

I Won the Booker Award!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on November 10, 2012 by royalmanaball

Last month I won the Booker Award for The Ancients and the Angels. Not the Booker Prize, mind you, but the award for authors who refuse to live in the real world. And that’s all right by me. Why, I just had my astro-natal chart configured for my birthday and it said that my grasp on reality is being tested. I’ll buy that for a dollar.

Author of Catharsis, Lada Ray passed this amazing award to me and the rule is that it must be paid forward from one author to another. The recipient must also have that extra something which is outsider to garden variety literature. An element that mavericks beyond what you would normally find on the NYT Bestsellers. So, since she had already won, I suppose I can’t slap it back at her. No worries, there are are about five other authors out there as richly deserving as her. Not much more, but I think I can find five.

1) Andersen Prunty – King of Bizarro literature. If this guy wrote a grocery list, I’d buy it. He transcends much of what his fellow stablemates of this new genre release in that it still maintains a very human element. As I was once a Buckeye, I can appreciate his focus on SW-Ohio drama. Don’t laugh if you’ve never lived in Cincinnati.

2) James Roy Daley – The new king of Horror. No shit. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the future of that genre is in Canada and JR is, in my opinion, the guy to follow now that Steve King is, well – that dude should seriously retire. (So should George Romero). Read Terror Town. No, seriously – read it!

3) Bryant Delafosse – Author of The Mall, I can’t wait to read more from this guy. Warps time, milieu and can whip up an amazing premise that hooks you into the drama to come. You gotta read his stuff.

4) Andrzej Sapkowski – Author of The Witcher series. Polish fantasist who takes the time-beaten genre of low fantasy and takes it as low as you can get.

5) Maureen F. McHugh – Her anthology After the Apocalypse is a wonderful examination of what happens to people when the shit hits the fan. She throws all kinds of situations and analyzes how people, especially women, cope and deal with the stressors of life right after the lights go out.

 
So there’s the who’s-who of this wonderful award. I thank Lada Ray again for passing this on and I wish you all the best!

Andersen Prunty and “The Fuckness”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on September 21, 2012 by royalmanaball

I was a drug counselor in Middletown, Ohio for three years. It’s smack-dab in between Dayton and Cinci. Why do you think they call it Middletown anyway?? My clientele were of the adolescent intensive outpatient population. I almost feel I have a personal connection to this story because I believe it takes place there with these kinds of children.

Andersen knows his lay of the land. Middletown (Middleton, here) is like Mos Eisley in Ohio. A hive of scum and villainy.

Hang on before you hate on me for saying this (truth be told, I don’t care if you do).

The tiny city is a perfect experiment of squeezing the dirt-poor right next door to Ohio Royalty. The former are bullied by society in general to believe that they have nothing ever – EVER – to look forward to and the latter thought that Bush Junior was the best-durn thang that done ever happened to these here U S’s of A.

Prunty focuses on the former – a boy with sweet F.A. in his future or his present. He’s weird and nobody at his podunk school likes him. His parents beat the holy hell out of him on a regular basis. Then one day, they give it to him good – he gets the horns.

Time to kill. The gods of Po’ White Trash have chosen him to get rid of all of his shackles, murder his moron parents, steal the nearest riding lawnmower and go find himself so he can defeat The Fuckness.

Knowing Middletown like I do, it would take a bizarre adventure for the less-than-honeyed to ever hope to bust through the Van Allen belts of hate and despair and allow the last shred of your own personality to shine in the end.

Andersen Prunty is the Graham Greene of the 21st Century and this novel is a testament to that. I know many may think those are tall words for a Bizarro author, but he is so in touch with the human condition that he can take genre and truly examine humanity at its worst – but for the best.

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