The Free Dictionary describes novelism in just a single word. It is simply innovation. I have approached the challenge of creativity and innovation my entire life. My innovative ideas are beyond awesome. But I’m also an avid reader.
I read three books in the past year (I’m a slow reader). I recently finished reading ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’ by Kurt Vonnegut. The other two books I read include ‘The Rum Diary’ and 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ by Hunter S. Thompson. ‘Slaughterhouse Five’ fits into six typical genres: fiction, time travel, black comedy, war novel, philosophy and science fiction.
The end of chapter nine included a radio station discussion on a program regarding novels. “The master of ceremonies asked people to say what they thought the function of a novel might be in modern society, and one critic said, ‘To provide touches of color in rooms with all-white walls.’ Another one said, ‘To describe blow jobs artistically.’ Another one said, ‘To teach wives of junior executives what to buy next and how to act in a French restaurant.’”
Chapter ten is the last chapter in the novel and it finishes as it’s written at the end of chapter one. The Second World War is over. Billy Pilgrim survives the Dresden massacre as a prisoner of war in a slaughterhouse. He walks outside and sees ruins, no traffic, trees leafing out and hears a bird chirping. I found Kilgore Trout an interesting minor character. He’s a failed science fiction writer with crazy ideas that made the book more interesting and more fun than I expected.
‘The Rum Diary’ tells the tangled love story of jealousy, treachery and violent alcoholic lust in Puerto Rico. The novel is not as great as ‘Fearing and Loathing in Las Vegas.’ I didn’t really care about failed drunken love affairs in ‘The Rum Diary.’ I was more interested in Paul Kemp’s freelance job working for a failing newspaper.
I finished reading ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ last year. It’s wonderfully written. It’s probably the best chronicle of a drug-soaked strange journey down in the annals of American pop culture. I wondered how Raoul Duke could still be alive at end of the story on the last page.
According to the Urban Dictionary 'Fear and Loath' means to go out for a massively crazy night containing random adventures fuelled by plenty of body and substance abuse. It’s a direct reference to what the novel stands for.
'Beyond The Blue Kite' is dark fiction that leads you down a path you never expected to go. It explores mental health issues. But it's so much more than that.
I started writing ‘Beyond The Blue Kite’ in college (many years ago) before I heard about gonzo journalism. Gonzo journalism is a style of journalism that's written without claims of objectivity, often including the main character as part of the story via first-person narrative. Because gonzo is so undefinable and attempted by so few, one can only look at its progress. It is interesting that the term has been applied to other people as well, such as the screenwriter Joe Eszterhas and comedians Andy Kauffman and John Belushi.
A literary critic, Jerome Klinkowitz, seems to capture the essence of gonzo reporting in comparing Hunter S. Thompson to Kurt Vonnegut: "The quick cut, the strategic use of digression, the ability to propel himself through a narrative like a stunt driver, steering with the skids so that the most improbable intentions result in the smoothest maneuvers, the attitutde of having one's personal craziness pale before contemporary American life -- on all these counts, Thompson and Vonnegut share an affinity."
As a full-length novel, 'Beyond The Blue Kite' is more mainstream than average experimental fiction. It floats eerily in a midpoint between cool realism and dark fiction. The novel explores human fantasy and experimentation. Hunter S. Thompson and Kurt Vonnegut write with similar creative forces and effectiveness. My book captures the essence of gonzo writing and it's worthy of comparison.
Here are the Top 11 Reasons Why You Should Read 'Beyond The Blue Kite:'
1. Above and beyond the average book.
2. Darker than normal genre fiction.
3. Roller-coaster ride of adventure.
4. Best philosophy.
5. Heart-pounding darkness and fear.
6. Brutally violent high tension.
7. Amusingly mad creativity.
8. Rich characters.
9. Wildly entertaining.
10. Enhanced dreaming.
11. Hilarious comic relief.
I’m a member of the Canadian Authors Association and I'm thinking about the pros and cons of literary agents. I’m looking forward to pitching my novel at CanWrite! 2015. The conference for writers is held by the CAA at Lakehead University. I’m planning to take a writing retreat and share my experience in the next blog.