Smoke Show

Clint Burnham, Author . Arsenal Pulp $15.95 (187p) ISBN 978-1-55152-196-1

Best known in the U.S. as the author of The Jamesonian Unconscious: The Aesthetics of Marxist Theory , a critical study, the Vancouver-based Burnham also writes short stories (Airborne Photo ) and poetry (Be Labor Reading and Buddyland ). This book is best classed in that last category: billed as a novel, it reads like a verse play, one comprising elegantly concise dialogues among woefully inarticulate, tragically maladapted and often inebriated adults whose main occupation is low-level trade in drugs and bodily fluids. Nothing much happens: people drive, roll joints, complain about music or partners, open beers or ask for them, debate the merits of hedges vs. fences, have sex, watch TV, take care of children, breathlessly recount the entire plots of C-grade movies, contemplate building a deck, cut up hot dogs and generally get on with the fuzzy stasis that constitutes disenfranchisement, to the point where a voice can sum itself up with the phrase: "Yeah, so like I guess I'm mostly classic rock." Imagine countless permutations on that theme, and you have this book. Burnham is pitch-perfect all the way through. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 04/03/2006
Release date: 04/01/2006
Open Ebook - 192 pages - 978-1-55152-466-5
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