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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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Jun292012

Incredibly Kind Responses To My Writing

The following are extracts from various online reviews and comments in numerous writer groups. They are all deeply appreciated.

*   *   *

"When I read your words, something strange happens to me... when I reach the last sentence, I always realize I've been holding my breath... something akin to watching a juggler with 23 pins in the air afraid that my breathing will cause them to come crashing down. It's more than suspending disbelief. It's knowing that all the threads will come together, and that I as the reader get to help. Your description of the train alone, succinct as it is, would be reason enough to love this piece... but all that you build around it... it's beautiful." — Leland Hermit, January 6, 2017

"What can I say about this? Great advice, hilarious, and a great read. [Endless Joke] should be on the top of your to read list if you haven't checked it out already. Very useful for independent writers. If you are one of them, don't let this book go unread." — Roy Huff, May 9, 2014 [5 Stars]

"A great read. The style, pace, humor, wit all come together in a wonderful way to educate without being preached to. Even should you walk away with nothing more than an enjoyable series of insights, my guess is you will get lots more, it will still be worth your time." — Russ Sullivan, April 30, 2014 [5 Stars]

"[Endless Joke,] this wonderful collection of essays and blog entries, is a great read, especially for those who write and even more so for indie writers. Mr. Antrobus is fluent in at least three languages (American English, British English, and Canadian English) and has informed opinions about just about everything. I heartily recommend it for my writing friends!" — Leland Hermit, February 17, 2014 [4 Stars]

"Cormac McCarthy with a broken heart." — Gordon Frew, January 3, 2014

"I found in this book refreshingly practical advice on writing, editing, navigating the Indie world and, of course, Valley Girls. Unlike most writers' manuals, Endless Joke puts the modern writer's life in a realistic perspective, including all the hilarious, frightening, head-scratching, ridiculous and sometimes even triumphant things that can happen on the way to becoming a published author." — Jen Daniele, September 28, 2013 [5 Stars]

"Some describe his style as literary [...] but he also has a talent for finding the humor in subjects you wouldn’t think of as funny. Whether an indie author (current or future) or a reader, Endless Joke will entertain, educate, and provoke thought." — "Big" Al Kunz, February 13, 2013 [5 Stars]

"I usually read for the humour, which is abundant, pithy, and enlightening; but I come back [to Endless Joke] for the quiet little insightful subtext he so skillfully leaves filling the blankness between lines." — Ed Drury, October 25, 2012 [5 Stars]

"This left me breathless [...] The writing is amazing and cannot be adequately described, it must be experienced. To my fellow New Yorkers I say, 'Take a ride and see 9/11 through the eyes of this brother from the North.' I will call him my brother, because he has seen, and has understood while at the same time giving witness so others may experience what it was like and take hope." — Roland Capalbo, September 11, 2012 [5 Stars]

"David Antrobus has a way with syntax. You can tell he is a well-read, intelligent individual that could crush you with his vocabulary given the chance, yet he dribbles instead of spews. He brings out the big guns only when their effect is desirable and doesn’t beat you about the head with verbose meanderings. Having an extensive lexicon and knowing when to use it is a gift in my eyes. David, you, sir, are gifted." — Edward Lorn, September 10, 2012 [5 Stars]

"It is easy to see why David is such a beloved writer and personality. He has genuine empathy in a world which discourages it. His kindness shines through the darkest of his thoughts and he can express those thoughts so frighteningly well." — Ed Drury, September 8, 2012

"David has done a tremendous job, putting his own perspective to this painful topic, as well as jarring us into facing our own pain in the memory. Thank you, David. It was beautiful, sad, and oh, so very accurate. And, as a southern neighbor, I am so very glad you took the trip that I have yet to face." — Linda Rae Blair, August 28, 2012 [5 Stars]

"David has exposed my broken heart [...] The tears will go away again. [...] The sorrow will wane, but this wonderfully written piece will be around forever to remind us, in its own haunting way, of our slim hold on mortality." — Linda Rae Blair, August 28, 2012

"From the moment I picked up the book, I was moved by David Antrobus’ words. Beautifully written [...] with much insight and warmth. I recommend it!" —

"I'm still dissecting the words so eloquently selected for this story. It is a poet's journey [...] I believe this book would be a welcome addition to any collegiate library in the psychological and social studies section. It is well written and provides an excellent insight." — Jeff Dawson, July 10, 2012 [3 Stars]

"[A]n unforgettable read. I finished it in one sitting; totally absorbed by David's mastery of prose, and his writing style - not exactly economical, but sufficiently descriptive to encourage your own mind to fill in gaps - is pitch perfect. There is an almost magical sense of warmth and compassion in this book, which you would not expect from the subject matter [...] However many stars Amazon allowed me to give this book, I would give it the maximum. Please read it." — Michael Doyle, July 3, 2012, [5 Stars]

"[Dissolute Kinship] is told with a kind of compassionate warmth of someone who cares about people. Someone who cares without any political agenda, but rather the very human capacity to want to understand the events of 9/11 in a personal way. In very real and honest ways [...] this short autobiographical seems to me essential reading for all Americans. We should listen closely to what the author is saying and be thankful for his perspective." — Ed Drury, June 29, 2012 [5 Stars]

"Dissolute Kinship packs a big emotional punch in a small number of words. I loved Antrobus’ writing style, which to me felt almost literary, but it was in the conclusions he drew where I found the biggest payoff." — "Big" Al Kunz, June 29, 2012 [5 Stars]

"What a beautiful and touching piece. You have a gift for creating vibrant images and feelings. I was swept away by your physical and emotional journey after the devastation of the 9/11 attacks and appreciated your keen observations about the landscape and the feelings of the people around you. We are very excited to offer Dissolute Kinship a Grub Street Reads Endorsement and to add your work to the official Grub Street Reads library." — Jessica Bennett, Grub Street Reads, June 21, 2012

"This short book, in its compact beauty, took my breath away. [it] haunted me for months after reading it. I read the book once with a lump in my throat and then a second time because I just needed this beautiful prose to flow through me once again. Words like "haunting" and "evocative" feel too weak to describe the real power here. Dissolute Kinship has a pulse, a heartbeat, a lyricism that took me beyond the smoking hole in the ground left by the 9/11 attacks on Manhattan to the soul of the people left standing, reflected in the eyes of another wounded warrior. To say I'm merely looking forward to the sequel would be a gross understatement." — Laurie Boris, June 9, 2012 [5 Stars]

"Any time a person's memoir can bring me to tears before I've even finished the first chapter, then the author has succeeded. Dissolute Kinship: A 9/11 Road Trip evoked memories and emotions that I haven't experienced since that fateful day when the Twin Towers ceased to exist [...] The memoir is short, only took me an hour or so to read it, but it didn't need to be any longer. Every sentence in the book packs a punch that unless you are with out a heart, will impact deeply on your soul. I think every American should read this at least once. But do be prepared for the tears to fall." — Kat Yares, May 22, 2012 [5 Stars]

"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." — A.B. Shepherd, May 10, 2012 [4 Stars]

"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 outsiders 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." — Jim Devitt, May 7, 2012 [5 Stars]

"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 [...] This book is a piece of poetry and a testament to what it means to be human." — Carolyn Steele, May 6, 2012

"I can't use the expletive I was going to use (being a public site and using my own name and everything) so I'll use a less emphatic, but still heartfelt, phrase: You are freakin' brilliant, David! I loved the rolling, stream of consciousness, call to action, call to arms (the ones with skin not guns), wickedly woven beat of this. Damn, you are good." — Jo Anne Teal, April 22, 2012

"David Antrobus has painted a word picture of his journey from Pacific Canada to the shores of the Atlantic to stand with us here in a post 9/11 New York and share our grief and resolution to be bloodied, but unbowed [...] It is good to be reminded of the worst and the best we experienced that day. Well done David!" — Neil L Yuzuk, April 21, 2012 [4 Stars]

"This guy can write. Not like the crap that most of us produce, but really write. Go ahead and take offense at that statement, too. Then read that blog. And if a single one of you think you can possibly be that real…" — Rich Meyer, April 13, 2012

"I could feel the sadness in your thoughts, David; the tumultuous race against time with the same eventual ending we are all trying to forget and ignore. You dropped my heart from that last precipice - would it fall as fast as the kitten? Would our endings be the same? ... Your writing is very moving, I am deeply touched." — Paul M. Schofield, April 13, 2012

"Are you sure you should be hanging out with us? Good Lord, man. That's like ... friggin' literature compared to what we do." — Rich Meyer, April 13, 2012

"Poetic, deep, ephemeral, like clouds on a breezy day changing shape as they swirl and dance in no set pattern across a brilliant sky." — Yvonne Hertzberger, April 13, 2012

"Well David, you swirled, spun and circled around in this post, and I wasn’t sure where you would end up. It was like watching a leaf fall off a tree in autumn, making its way to the ground in the most circuitous way possible; then upon its landing, you realize that the journey was really the entire point." — Jo-Anne Teal, April 13, 2012

"Yes, and the day I write a blog post like this one, I’ll be whispering “time to die" too. This is amazing. Inspiring. Delicious. Absofrickinglutely perfect. I can’t remember the last time I read a post as full of fabulous as this one." — Kern Windwraith, April 13, 2012

@oddparticle @DavidAntrobus "There is nothing strange about this post. It's my favourite blog post in the history of blog posts. Thus far. Amazing!" — Kern Windwraith, ‏Tweet, April 13, 2012

"Your doomed love affair with musicianship brought back not so pleasant memories of my own ham-fisted attempts at painting. I sucked when I started, I made barely measurable strides forward with technique as I persevered, and eventually I realized that I wasn’t going to live long enough to learn to paint half as well as the best of the mediocre painters, so I put the brushes down and contented myself with looking. […] Your comment about writers being essentially misanthropic also resonated. Our literary output depends on our ability to dive into the guts of our fellow beings, assimilate them and trot them out on the page. So why is it that when I’m out walking the dog, I’ll cross to the other side of the street to avoid having to make tedious conversation with some other person out walking their dog? […] Loved your post, David. Your gift for stringing words together in fresh, witty and wonderful ways would make me fiercely jealous if if didn’t make me so darned happy." — Kern Windwraith, April 8, 2012

"D, I am always glad to help you. The fact that I get to help you write is an honor. There is a teeter totter. At one end is prolific. At the other end is art. You are one of the least prolific writers I know cause you spend all your time at the other end. There is rhythm and beauty in the cadence of your writing. Your touch is exquisite. I like being a ‘good’ writer and a ‘good’ musician, but I’d give up the good musician part to be a great writer in a heartbeat. I’m good enough to keep writing. You’re good enough that you must. […] Your point is a good one. Your prose is a joy." — Dan Mader, April 6, 2012

"Your writing is music David. I hear the beat, the cadence (my favourite word: “the fall of the voice”), the lyrics, the swirl. You can write snark that magically turns into poetry, like the best song, like the best album of the year. […] In other words Mr. Antrobus, you rock. Literally? Nah, but figuratively is even better!" — Jo-Anne Teal, April 6, 2012

"With his beautiful prose, David Antrobus takes us along on an already-planned trip that most sane people would've cancelled given the early news of that tragic day. I'm glad he didn't. His empathetic observations of us New Yorkers in our raw pain, our eerie dust-covered silence and also in our brief moments of almost-normal joy displayed on a Brooklyn stoop are vivid, but also somehow comforting in its heartbreaking overtones that for me, felt like recognition of kin." — Jen Daniele, April 6, 2012 [5 Stars]

"This is the single best book I've read all year, and the best new book I've read in many a moon... I have to say that this book was enthralling. There was an almost Kerouacian verve to the narrative [...] He describes accurately and honestly the way a lot of us felt on that dreadful day over a decade ago. And like him, we're all still coming to terms with those feelings. I don't often give a book five-stars, but this one deserves the rating. I cannot recommend this book more highly!" — Rich Meyer, March 28, 2012 [5 Stars]

"David, your article is crazy outrageously hysterical…and so funny, as well. I loved how you butchered artist & author alike –you’re a straight arrow when it comes to fairness–and that hyperventilatedly sound you might have heard at your Mice and Mockingbirds was my uncontrollable laughter. Loved your article!!!!" — Grammymoon/Stephanie, March 24, 2012

"Well, David, it’s not often I say this, but you made me wish I’d written this post! So much truth here; but you made it all sound so … I dunno … believable!" — J. Conrad Guest, March 23, 2012

"I was just watching a show on the Telly about the world’s funniest people. There are a lot of funny people in this world, including the David Anthropomorph guy, and I am now privileged to have seen the funniest! […] My comment is largely stolen from the brilliant British TV show Miranda, but since your post is both original and funny, I bow to it. Hilarious!" — Greg Carrico, March 23, 2012

"I am lothe to discuss the particulars of the story because the author, David Antrobus, has written something so hauntingly personal that I believe each reader will experience it in a unique way related directly to how the reader experienced the events themselves [...] That is the true brilliance of this short story. The story is the author's and yet it is the reader's as well. It is a collective history captured in a Jack Kerouac, On the Road style [...] It asks us to look inside while we focus so much on the outside. Brilliantly conceived and executed. I highy recommend this story." — Parents' Little Black Book Reviews, March 18, 2012 [5 Stars]

"This ia a sensitive, moving, poetic review of a tragedy that has impacted upon the world on many different levels. The author use of the English language is impeccable. His style of writing is like a rich tapestry drawing you into the aftermath of such a tragic event [...] no one could put this outstanding book down or fail to be moved by it. I look forward to reading more books by this author." — Shirley Frew, March 10, 2012 [5 Stars]

"David Antrobus is a master of putting words and phrases together, crafting narrative that is a pleasure to read in a mechanical sense and is also richly evocative in regards to both sensory perceptions and emotion. His descriptions of post-911 New York City paint a vivid picture, placing the reader in that time and place, and his introspection and observations elicit emotional responses. I don't believe that anyone with a human heart and soul can walk away from the book unmoved." — LB Clark, March 7, 2012 [4 Stars]

"This is a beautiful mix of 'hauntingly poetic' and harsh reality. David has very eloquently walked the fine line between wanting to understand the pain of 911 and yet leaving those who lost so much with their dignity. His ability to convey the shock the world felt and the grief and heartache of the individual in a few short pages is astounding. I highly recommend this book." — Nancy Lee Parrish, March 7, 2012 [5 Stars]

"David’s soul comes through in everything he writes." — Lois Lewandowski, February 11, 2012

"I read this story in one sitting, I could not put it down [...] This is a very beautiful written book, very descriptive, with a lovely use of words [...] I applaud David for his personal account of that very sad time." — Dawn Torrens, February 10, 2012 [5 Stars]

"This is a good book [...] It was an awful time, and yet it is not a depressing book. On the contrary, it is uplifting [...] This is a meticulously produced book, both in language and in presentation. Buy this. It is a pleasure to read." — Brenda Ní Shúilleabháin, January, 26, 2012 [5 Stars]

"David Antrobus has written an amazing piece of literature [...] his use of language is inspiring. Yes, this is a story about a road trip that happened to coincide with one of the most important political occasions in recent American history. Yes, Antrobus tells his story, and he tells it well. But, at its heart, this is a book about humanity. It is a book about all of us [...] it is beautifully constructed. The images are rich and filled with valid nostalgia. It is a book drenched in sentiment that dodges the bullet of sentimentality. It is a unique account of one man's struggle to make sense of something that is almost incomprehensible [...] I could go on and on, but none of the accolades I could lay out would give this book its due. The sheer, honest *feeling* in this book is worth a million adjectives. None of which I have room for. This book bleeds [...] It is a simple tale, told eloquently and, therein, lies its true beauty. I recommend this book without reservation. It is a book I will read again and again, and Antrobus has truly given us a gift by letting us inside his experience. There is nothing else to say...buy this book. You will not be disappointed." — Dan Mader, November 20, 2011 [5 Stars]

"A most enjoyable book. Filled to the brim with heartfelt feelings. We take a trip into America and feel the pain as if we are there. A visual read. That will leave you thinking." — Jackie Williams, August 15, 2011 [5 Stars]

"This had to be an exceedingly difficult book to write, especially within a year after the tragedy happened. To get the right balance between melodrama and insensitivity required something super human. David came very close. I think he did an admirable job. He showed an amazing facility with language that I wish I had." — Boyd Lemon, July 1, 2011 [4 Stars]

"David is a gifted writer who spins beautiful stories like a spider spins incredible webs, using language in a hauntingly intricate way that causes you to not want to put this down and stays with you after you've completed reading [...] His use of the English language is expertly precise and concise. This piece of writing is without a doubt a work of art." — Monica Lunn, June 28, 2011 [5 Stars]

"Engaging, harrowing - an interesting perspective about the dissolution of a day and hints of the author's own tragic experiences. Makes one want to read much more. Particularly liked the details of the people he met along the way - chance or not so chance, encounters. Well done!" — Cathie Borrie, June 19, 2011

"Mr. Antrobus is a very gifted writer, plain and simple. He writes from his point of view, born in England and now living in Canada, on how 9/11 affected him personally, and how it touched the world. This is a well written short story surrounding a day none of us will ever forget." — J.C Allen, June 14, 2011 [5 Stars]

"David has beautifully interwoven his own reactions with those of others experiencing the aftermath of the horrors of that fateful event. The resulting story is haunting, yet uplifting [...] His writing style is so vividly descriptive; you have no doubt about the sights, smells, feelings surrounding him. You are there with him—deeply involved. This man has a true talent, and has used it brilliantly. I highly recommend this book." — Shirley Hicks, June 12, 2011 [5 Stars]

"It's about a road trip into the heart of autumn displaced [...] If you were there when 911 happened you'll feel the shock of it again and the muted wanderlust of one man trying to preserve what we had lost. The sweet muted colors betrayed, and rivers and lands befouled." — Barry Eysman, June 6, 2011 [5 Stars]

"Antrobus' writing is phenomenal [...] a Canadian who, on his own journey of healing, decided to visit New York on that fateful day. His descriptions bring back painful memories of my own view of that time. It's very real, and very poignant." — Melinda Clayton, June 3, 2011 [5 Stars]

"The quality of writing and depth of analysis present in the book is outstanding. This is a very satisfying read, short and concise, without a wasted word, and every word perfectly fashioned. I would recommend Dissolute Kinship to anyone wanting to gain an insight into an ordinary man's reaction to extra-ordinary events." — JT Harding, May 22, 2011 [5 Stars]