This is the time of year that makes me want to sink my teeth into juicy things; plums and peaches; a crush’s lips; a really, really, very good book with prose as simultaneously poetic and simplistic as those thick emotions we can’t fully express, but that masterful fiction can, somehow.
On Saturday, June 7th, 24-Hour Bookclub and I will both take a very deep, satisfying bite into an excellent collection of short fiction: Ron Carlson’s The Hotel Eden.
It’s worth explaining how we came to June’s The Hotel Eden.
In college I was fortunate enough to be handed a copy of The Signal, a novel by Carlson that starts out heady with the vague misfortune of a down-on-his-luck, soon-to-be-divorced Wyoming rancher named Mack. As I travelled into his past—deeds Mack himself couldn’t seem to face through his own flashbacks—I became intertwined with a complex character; his morals and his failures and how one seemed to feed the other in an unfair, all-to-common way.
Then, about three-quarters of the way through, the novel jumped up. The plot and narrative jolted, bolting into a new state like a kid caught sleeping in class. It became a thriller, a chase, and if Mack could just make it out alive then his purpose, his sense of self and morality and what-is-fucking-right would, for once, win. Boy, this book did a number on me.
I expect the same satisfaction from Carlson’s 1998 collection of 12 critically acclaimed short stories. Because Carlson can deliver the reward of sensations that only comes from expertly crafted, complex, downright-joyous-to-read fiction. I cannot express how excited I am to take that first, big, sloppy and juicy bite.
Max, Diana and I will be there. Won’t you join us?
We’ll wake up first thing in the morning, crack open our copies of The Hotel Eden, and start tweeting up a storm using our usual #24hourbookclub hashtag. We’ll be looking out for your tweets, too, and reading them between chapters.
You can pick up a copy of The Hotel Eden
- On Amazon or at your local book store if you’re into paper,
- Or through Kindle if you’re into Kindle.
I can’t wait.