Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Tear in Your Beer

Just in case you're on the fence about attending N@B in Corydon, IN. next week, lemme float this out there: Matthew McBride says he'll have early paperback copies of his novel Frank Sinatra in a Blender available to purchase and sign and all that.

How much the shit is Frank Sinatra? So much the shit that Ken Bruen wrote it a helluva introduction in which he claims that reading McBride for the first time was comparable to his first samplings of James Crumley and Daniel Woodrell... Ouch.

And lemme tell you kids, as good as Blender is  (and it is teh good shits - what is the saying, if a chainsaw is in the trunk in the first act then it has to be used in the third?), I think there is even better stuff in store for McBride readers. Evidence? How 'bout the story he read at N@B Coydon last year Big Darlene the Sex Machine (available in Beat to a Pulp: Round Two) and his contribution to Noir at the Bar Vol. 2 - The Tar Hole - probably my single favorite McBride piece yet.

Why is that? 'Cause it's got all the crazy McBride stuff you love, but it comes with an additional dimension of heart that frankly caught me off guard. Don't get me wrong it's been in previous stories, but always in a supporting role to the batshit mayhem - not this time. Nope, this time McBride is out to break your hard, pea-sized heart and damned if he don't squeeze blood from a gallstone.

And he ain't alone. I've long been a fan of the medically-accurate, fluid-heavy, comedic body-horror of Glenn Gray, but Venice Beach Birthday Boogie (included in Noir at the Bar Vol. 2 - as well as the upcoming issue of Needle magazine) has a lot of heart too. It's a bittersweet musclehead coming of age story that reads like memoir - which is to say, the author's personal connection to the time and place and characters depicted, rings authentic and sincere in a way that say - Intubation (his wonderfully bent story from Shotgun Honey Presents: Both Barrels) - ...doesn't.

So take that, fence-sitters. Beef O'Brady's is gonna be extra meaty Saturday night, and I wanna see you there.

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