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Spaceman Blues: A Love Song

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Brian Francis Slattery

Editor/writer/musician Slattery's chaotic debut takes readers on a headlong trip to the end of the world. Manuel González, a legendary New York City party animal, has disappeared and his apartment has exploded, leaving behind only the memories … see full wiki

Tags: Book
Author: Brian Francis Slattery
Publisher: Tor Books
1 review about Spaceman Blues: A Love Song

Wild Ride of Words

  • Mar 16, 2008
An apartment explodes, and, supposedly, Manuel González is blown to smithereens along with it. Or is he? Brian Francis Slattery's debut novel, "Spaceman Blues: A Love Song," is an explosion of words, all in bright sparks, in all directions, a flaming sky of beautiful chaos. Even when I had trouble following this surreal story, I loved reading it. It almost didn't have to make sense. Sometimes the joy of literary paint splashing on walls, Pollack if this were visual, Monk if this were musical, is enough to enthrall the audience:

"He could find another man, sweet and kind; they could retire to a house upstate with flowing windows, where the roads are framed in green and there are only the assured rhythms of farm equipment, occasional guests, the piling and melting of snow, mud in the spring, angry summers mollified by shade and wind. He could let this rage cut wrinkles into him and dissipate. He could let solace in.

"But he is here now. Subways mumble above his head, the tugboat shudders on its cables. Children swing from spindly walkways, singing songs over the thrum of music and machinery. Every second is another escape from death: it swings by, brushes your clothes, and then wheels around, cheated and livid, and you plant your feet on the crumbling rock, curl your hands into fists. Come and get me." (pg. 111)

As authorities and Wendell Apogee, González's gay lover, track him through Darktown, an underlayer of New York that serves as the dryer to lost socks, the scenes become ever more surreal, wheeling in every direction, mixing with alien life (forms and style), swimming in apocalyptic madness toward the final days on earth. No matter if you lose track of this wild path. Enjoy the dizzy ride.

Slattery is a new voice, and we have too few of those in these cautious days of publishing. Tor, the book's publisher, is to be commended for giving platform to a literary spaceman, singing his literary blues in fresh style.

~Zinta Aistars for "The Smoking Poet," Spring 2008 Issue

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