Summary Ü PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ☆ J.D. Daniels,
Es next This got a lot of buzz in The New York Times and seemed to be the kind of writing I d like so I bought in once again proving the awesome book selling prowess of The New York Times What threw me was the price vis a vis the featherweight book I unpacked in the mail This is part of that new trend of l il books It measures 5 by not uite 8 is a dust coverless hardcover weighs in at a mere 126 pp and allows three blank pages between each essay For this you shell a whopping 20 bucks Part of you feels both highwayed and robberied three times once each by Farrar Straus and Giroux The other part of you rationalizes you re supporting a writer and that can t be a bad thingWhy did I uote up the word essay above Because I wondered about how JD Daniels defines the word Then at the beginning I read the following This book is mainly nonfiction Letter from Cambridge Letter from Majorca Letter from Kentucky and Letter from the Primal Horde were written as essays and should be read as such Letter from Level Four and Letter from Devils Tower were written as short stories and do not describe real people or events All of these letters first appeared in The Paris ReviewBut what is described as essay material often reads like stream of consciousness or at times surreal fiction depending on which of the six brief letters you re reading The first Letter from Cambridge reminds me of a book I read in 2014 Thrown by Kerry Howley So I felt like I had been there before reading all about Brazilian iujitsu only Daniels angle is being the professor who fights and gets the crap kicked out of
His Hide While Howley Shide while Howley s is being the fair maiden sitting ringside who loves violence and bloodFans of clipped writing Hemingway style and macho but vulnerable writing also Hemingway style though some readers fail to see Papa s vulnerable should like this material His voice is uniue and he manages to get spacey at times without going on and on like say Gogol s madman or is it madmen And occasionally he writes a clunker such as this line The past is behind me burning like a hemorrhoid Ah yes Sophomoric humor essays into the writing now and again Maybe the market is similar to Mixed Martial Arts fighting Males 19 34 or say 44 Or not I
SAILED PAST 44 LONG AGO ANDpast 44 long ago and to mostly appreciate this though it was passing briefIn addition to the Brazilian work outs and fighting Daniels writes about past girlfriends crazy ass people he s dealt with his Kentucky past read memoir material in that it s fraught with dysfunctional family stuff always gold for writers and a psychological getaway that makes me wonder about Daniels experiences with the psychiatric trade Either he knows a lot about them or he has a good imagination either doable given what goes on in that tradeIf it s a new voice you d like or a macho voice you d like one seasoned with a been to university but dropped out POV this may be the greasy ticket you found in the alleyway Admit one and admit it You might actually like it and find it 4 ish Or 2 or 3 ish if the uneven talent aggravates you I can sympathize either way but am voting benefit of the doubt in this case Merry Christmas JD. Rary voice tone form but also immediate such as spending two years on a Brazilian ujitsu team he gets beaten to a pulp repeatedly or participating in group psychoanalysis where he goes temporarily insaneDaniels is that rare thing a writer completely in earnest whose wit never deserts him even in extremis Inventive intimate restless streetwise and erudite The Correspondence introduces a brave and original observer of the inner life under pressur. Ke stream of consciousness but upon closer inspection are put together very carefully These are great because they redraw reality in a way that is foreign yet feels natural opposite of stranger in a familiar place not necessarily world view changing but done with such grace that it is a seamless aesthetic experience Style and substance remind me of Daniel Johnson a little bit maybe a dash of Saunders thrown in there but Daniels really isn t all that sentimental Can we knock it off with this macho neurotic essay thing for a minute Just a minute Long enough maybe for a few of these Young Male Writer Talents to find a way outside of themselves I sometimes carry a notepad and write down random thoughts I have as if I might find a use for them
Someday These Little Gems As I Mightthese little gems as I might of them at the time And the truth is I have used them I feel like JD Daniels might do this too His essays seem to me to be his taking some of his random ournal notes fleshing them out a little and then combining them into a piece in some disjointed way And calling it doneI mean once in a while he arose to it and I enjoyed what he had to say It might be a whole thought and I enjoyed what he had to say It might be a whole thought Histologie just a sentence or like these two sentences I wasn t surrounded by assholes I was trapped inside of one I like it but it s in with all the other stuff that seems unrelated and not so interesting Gratefully I found this to be a fast read and not a complete waste of time but I was expecting and hoping for than what I got I liked the first two lettersjust fine before it started to descend to its floor Seemed overwrought at first and thenust right and then less so The clarityspark and my engagement declined after about forty pages Disjointed progression reliance on breaks between short sections to do the work of transitions usually unpredictableodd often short sentencesparagraphs the seafood diet L'Attaque des Titans T28 joke notwithstanding psychologically emotionally and physically damaged masculinity Brazilianiu itsu sailing drinking a bit of a formal contrivance that s not even followed through on there s no you little continuity other than bio bits and frustrated girlfriends statement and negation of statement geographical variance some humor about writers These are elite NYC editors favorite things Bought this without much consideration after finishing Rachel Cusk s Transit and reading her By the Book post on NYTcom that calls it a groundbreaking collection of short memoirs Has such ground not been cracked open by Denis Johnson s Jesus Son Breece D Pancake and others I haven t read like that Chuck P guy who also wrote about fighting Just started Renata Adler s Speedboat which feels like similar territory in tone and approach An enjoyable book all in all but so slim slight ultimately heftless with maybe at most a single uick LOL although it s sort of humorous throughout I wanted to root for it but instead my single lingering impression is how did this get published No acknowledgments at the end as though to cover the tracks of some cronyism At one point he said he met professional writers in Boston Hmm File under raised expectations not uite met but I ll probably read what com. G and psychoanalysis can get us and how much we’re stuck in the mudIn prose wound as tight as a copper spring Daniels takes us from the highways of his native Kentucky to the Balearic Islands and from the Pampas of Brazil to the rarefied precincts of Cambridge Massachusetts His traveling companions include psychotic kindergarten teachers Israeli sailors and Southern Baptists on fire for Christ In each dispatch Daniels takes risks not ust lite. A short 2017 book of essays and short stories is great writingAll
Of The Pieces Werethe pieces were published in The Paris ReviewThe epigraph to the book is by William S Burroughs Maybethe real novel is the letters to you They read as if lettersto the world Concerning such topics as boxing in Brazil beinghigh on drugs being a bad boyfriend etc There is a boldand highly detailed intimacy in the tales which makes themexciting There are Letters To Cambridge from Majoricafrom Kentucky and from The Primal Horde Recommend John Jeremiah Sullivan s blurb declares this an original writer who has found
A New Form Wellnew form Well But if you enjoy Palahniuk Thompson Klosterman et al you ll likely enjoy this Hmm nothing letterly about it no feel that these are letters written to anyone in particular Listed at 144 pp it is actually 126 and after blank pages like 110 with large print small pages and a large amount of white space on the pages You can easily finish this in one sitting His angst might be interesting if he was in his 20 s but he is approaching if not in his 40 s Time to move on Given all that I loved his piece on his return to Kentucky and his relationship with his father having lived in KY myself and hung at some of the same bars that he has although not in the same decade But by the time I was into the last piece in this collection I was scan reading the piece BTW lower right corner here has links to some other pieces he has written not published in this collection I have to admit I ll probably read them But doubt that I ll read his first novel if he ever does publish one that 2 Stars on Goodreads means It was OK not a totally damning udgement This text sneaks up on you The gentle touch of fingers on your hips then the palms not yet sweaty then full arms wrapping around your stomach You can feel its warm body behind you getting warmer One hand moves up towards your neck the other below your waistband You are starting to shiver the shiver that is trembling that is either fear or excitement You cannot breathe You are being choked You realize you are being choked But you like it It is not enough to kill you When the limbs retract and turn you around so you might see it s face your eyes are closed your face is a blissful grin You do not see it s face You are a little lost in a euphoria you can t uite comprehend Here s another book for the men who are smart and weird and write essays about random things but do so in a creative and masculine way I don t always understand shelf I have never understood the point of these letter anthologies They re always incoherent and stochastic and while they do tend to skew towards an abstract goal eg Masculinity in this book the sum of its pages is worth less than each individual letter All that set aside I felt he made some good its pages is worth less than each individual letter All that set aside I felt he made some good about masculinity in few sparse sections that immediately followed the stream of consciousness style of writing into mildly amusing anecdotes Some of these stories shine brighter than others but they are all very good for their honesty artistry balanced economy and humor The highlight of the bunch is undoubtably letter from Kentucky Stories read li. The first collection from a Whiting Writers’ Award winner whose work has become a fixture of The Paris Review and n1Can civilization save us from ourselves That is the uestion J D Daniels asks in his first book a series of six letters written during dark nights of the soul Working from his own highly varied experience as a anitor a night watchman an adjunct professor a drunk an exterminator a dutiful son he considers how far books and learnin.