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  • Endless Joke
    Endless Joke
    by David Antrobus

    Here's that writers' manual you were reaching and scrambling for. You know the one: filled with juicy writing tidbits and dripping with pop cultural snark and smartassery. Ew. Not an attractive look. But effective. And by the end, you'll either want to kiss me or kill me. With extreme prejudice. Go on. You know you want to.

  • Dissolute Kinship: A 9/11 Road Trip
    Dissolute Kinship: A 9/11 Road Trip
    by David Antrobus

    Please click on the above thumbnail to buy my short, intense nonfiction book featuring 9/11 and trauma. It's less than the price of a cup of coffee... and contains fewer calories. Although, unlike most caffeine boosts, it might make you cry.

  • Music Speaks
    Music Speaks
    by LB Clark

    My story "Solo" appears in this excellent music charity anthology, Music Speaks. It is an odd hybrid of the darkly comic and the eerily apocalyptic... with a musical theme. Aw, rather than me explain it, just read it. Okay, uh, please?

  • First Time Dead 3 (Volume 3)
    First Time Dead 3 (Volume 3)
    by Sybil Wilen, P. J. Ruce, Jeffrey McDonald, John Page, Susan Burdorf, Christina Gavi, David Alexander, Joanna Parypinski, Jack Flynn, Graeme Edwardson, David Antrobus, Jason Bailey, Xavier Axelson

    My story "Unquiet Slumbers" appears in the zombie anthology First Time Dead, Volume 3. It spills blood, gore and genuine tears of sorrow. Anyway, buy this stellar anthology and judge for yourself.

  • Seasons
    Seasons
    by David Antrobus, Edward Lorn, JD Mader, Jo-Anne Teal

    Four stories, four writers, four seasons. Characters broken by life, although not necessarily beaten. Are the seasons reminders of our growth or a glimpse of our slow decay?

  • Indies Unlimited: 2012 Flash Fiction Anthology
    Indies Unlimited: 2012 Flash Fiction Anthology
    Indies Unlimited

    I have two stories in this delightful compendium of every 2012 winner of their Flash Fiction Challenge—one a nasty little horror short, the other an amusing misadventure of Og the caveman, his first appearance.

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Thursday
May102012

Three In One Week

Reviews of Dissolute Kinship, that is. Varying from the indepth to the brief, all three of them kind and thoughtful and fair. Honestly, I wish I could express the right degree of gratitude toward people who not only bother to read my work, but who then go the extra mile and review it. I hear too many authors complaining about how too few readers review after reading. Well, how often does any one of us take that extra step? I do on occasion, but certainly not for every book. Reviews are gold, but they're not an automatic right.

Anyway to the first: Jim Devitt succinctly delivers the following, in a generous 5-Star review entitled A Grand Perspective:

David Antrobus captures the essence of community and perspective in this vivid account of 9-11. The pages come alive, not with destruction and tragedy, but with hope and meaning. The author opens his mind and feelings, leading us through the process from an outsider's point of view. In the end, he helps us understand by painting a masterpiece with words. He shares with us everything, from the guilt felt while viewing ground zero to the greater understanding how human lives are interconnected. Great job, Antrobus.

I have to say I'm extremely gratified how many readers of this little book get what I was attempting to do, that it was never solely about the actual attacks, but about how we moved on and how we created new connections after being brought together in such initially appalling circumstances.

Okay, on to the next. A.B. Shepherd, in a similarly brief but insightful assessment, has this to say:

This book focuses on the devastation he finds when he gets to New York City following the events of September 11, 2001 and the affecting and poignant way he has of describing what he sees. For some people, like me, who still find the devastation of that day very difficult to deal with, this sometimes evoked more emotion than I expected.

If you want to read a well written first-hand perspective of the visual aftermath of 9/11 this is an excellent book. A literary triumph. It's short length is not a detriment. My only criticism is the off-hand introduction of some very relevant emails that David sent to friends at the time. I feel they could have been incorporated a little more seamlessly.

Fair point about the emails, by the way. As much as they illustrate the more raw, unedited version of my reactions to events and scenes, I never did manage to blend them in a wholly satisfying way.

And finally, Carolyn Steele brings all her experience with trauma to bear in a very attentive and lengthy analysis of my book. I won't reproduce the entire thing here, but if you're interested, check out the link to Carolyn's blog. I will, however, quote some of my favourite parts of her astonishingly empathic response, many of which choked me up, quite frankly:

[T]he traveller in question is a poet, a philosopher and somewhat acquainted with trauma and you have a book that transcends genres such as ‘memoir’ or ‘travelogue’ and even ‘poetry’. It is simply unique.

As the narrative takes us deep into Manhattan, the city of New York becomes a character in its own right. Someone you become part of, convulsed with unfathomable grief.

One damaged soul who comprehends the need for repetition, the importance  of outing the trauma, more than most of us…gave the city the only gift he had. When he mentions a sense of shame for having been a tourist in those terrible days, we realise that his processing is not yet done. One day the author will understand that he was the right person in the right place, giving of himself for people who had no more idea than he did why he was there.

I cannot tell you that you will enjoy this book, but I can tell you that you won’t regret reading it. And that you will reread it more than once.

This book is a piece of poetry and a testament to what it means to be human.

See? I defy anyone to not be moved by her words. The bonus is that Carolyn also interviewed me for a podcast to be broadcast soon (watch this space for developments) and if you can get past my annoying Anglo-Canuck accent, you will almost certainly be afforded more insight into the experiences surrounding that maddening little book (and its upcoming sequel).

*     *     *     *     *

also writes for Indies Unlimited and BlergPop. Be sure to check out his work there if you like what you read here.

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