Laura Warholic or, the Sexual Intellectual By Alexander Theroux
In his first novel in nearly twenty years, Alexander Theroux, National Book Award Nominee, returns with a compendious satire, a bold and inquisitorial circuit-breaking examination of love and hate, of rejection and forgiveness, of trust and romantic disappointment, of the terrors of contemporary life. Eugene Eyestones, an erudite sex columnist for a Boston cultural magazine, becomes enmeshed in the messy life of a would-be artist named Laura Warholic, who, repulsing and fascinating him at the same time, becomes a mirror in which he not only sees himself but through which he is forced to face his own demons. Not only does she inadvertently supply him with material for his columns, but she exemplifies all that Eugene considers wrong with contemporary America (of which the publishing profession and its recognizable denizens serves as a microcosm) — a garish and dunce-filled Babylon that Theroux scorches with inventive and relentless satire. Nostalgic for the old days and old manners, a way of life lost to grace, loving from afar a mysterious beauty named Rapunzel Wisht, Eugene fights against the rising tide of stupidity, focusing on Laura in the hope that by saving her he can validate his ethical beliefs. But feckless Laura and the colorful but bizarre cast of characters surrounding Eugene — brilliant bigots, nihilists, Generation-X slackers and zanies of all sexual persuasions — threaten to pull him under, leading to the novel's unforgettable conclusion, a climax of betrayal and redemption of Dostoevskyan power. As in all of Theroux's works, his maximalist and pyrotechnic prose style and searching intellect are the chief attractions, capable of outrageous comedy, nuanced philosophical discussions, winsome love scenes, flame-throwing tirades, subtle theological musings, and an unflinching genius for a profound if merciless look at the human condition. Horrifying and hilarious, damning and demanding, Laura Warholic in its uncompromising power will surely be one of the most talked-about novels of the season, and for years to come.
824-page 6" x 9" hardcover novel $29.95 Order Now!
Seattlites: Still looking for those last-minute holiday gifts? The Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is open and ready to serve you 11:30 - 8:00 daily (11:30 - 5:00 Sundays) with the following exceptions:
The Drinky Crow Show pilot is re-running on Jan. 1 at 11:15pm on the Cartoon Network. Not New Year's Eve but the night after. If you missed it the first time around, don't let that happen again, it's a riot. And looks so much better on the boob tube than the clips you've possibly seen on YouTube. Help us boost those ratings and ensure that the CN orders a slew of new episodes for 2008!
Charles E. Petit, known to the Fantagraphics offices as the longtime lawyer of Harlan Ellison, has been disbarred. Petit was found guilty of poor ethics by defrauding the family of author John Steinbeck. His defense honestly seems to have been that he's driven crazy by migraines that lead him to forget events that transpire at the time of the headaches and stuff like that. Specifically, he has been suspended for the following:
Count I, the Respondent repeatedly and knowingly made false statements to his client Nancy Steinbeck.
Count II, we find that the Respondent engaged in dishonest and deceitful conduct, and breached his fiduciary duties to his client.
Ultimately, the detail of the case that I most love is simply the name of the Court's psychiatric authority and his diagnosis of the lawyer: "Dr. Jeckel made a diagnosis of the Respondent. First, the Respondent has a Mixed Personality Disorder..."
Seattle's Crocodile Cafe unceremoniously closed down this weekend, the latest in a slew of old school Seattle venues going the way of Fallout Records & Comix and the old Rendezvous. The Croc was the best rock club in Seattle in the 1990s - just off the top of my head I can recall seeing a slew of pretty huge bands in its not-so-huge confines: Guided By Voices, Nirvana, Built To Spill, Cheap Trick, Yo La Tengo, Mudhoney, Pearl Jam (opening for Cheap Trick), Sebadoh, Dead Moon, The Shins, The Go-Betweens, Mike Watt, Jonathan Richman, Iron & Wine, Low, etc.
The club was always good to Fantagraphics - we put on several events there over the years, including a Comic Book Legal Defense Fund benefit with Neil Gaiman in 1997 or so that was one of the most successful regional fundraisers the Fund had ever done at the time and even garnered a Seattle city award for "Best Fundraiser (Under $200,000 category)" of the year, which I accepted from the Mayor in a gigantic gala ball. In 2000, the Croc lent us its space to put on a special Built To Spill concert to raise money for a serious debt we were in when our then-distributor went out of business owing us $80,000 - the event raised almost $10,000 and literally may have been the difference in keeping us in business at that moment. We helped organize a series of "ATM art shows" at the Croc in the 1990s (named so because every piece was an ATM-friendly $40, with pieces from Chris Ware, Dan Clowes, Peter Bagge -- you name it) with then art school student Kirsten Anderson, an experience which she parlayed into opening Roq La Rue, one of the most vital galleries in Seattle for going on a decade now. The club's booker at that time, Peter English, was also my next door neighbor for a few years and became one of my best pals, so there was a personal connection, as well. We took care of each others' cats when the other traveled.
One of our most anticipated 2008 releases, Willie & Joe: The WWII Years by Bill Mauldin, is now available for pre-order, and we've put together a special feature loaded with information on the book and Mauldin's work, including an excerpt of an interview with Mauldin. Click here for all the scoop!
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