Recent Work By Nik Korpon

The novel-in-stories toes a dangerous line: In the hands of an inexperienced writer, the book can become repetitive, reappearing characters a stand-in for actual narrative development and the ‘plot’ merely a thinly-veiled tool for not being able to write a proper novel. Thankfully, this is not the case for Tracks, by Eric D. Goodman. Quite the opposite, actually.

“How do you remember someone when they are gone, especially when you’re not sure how well you know them?”

My Father’s House has all the hallmarks of a Ben Tanzer novel: the characters are socially aware and mired in pop culture; they struggle with coming to a deeper understand of themselves; they run and shoot pool and frequent dive bars and stack the coffee table high with The Nation, Cineaste and New Yorker magazines. This novel though, Tanzer’s sixth, has taken a markedly darker path.

There is a lot of post-apocalyptic fiction coming out these days reflective of society’s state of mind. We’re expecting the end times, waiting for everything to crumble. Religion and the media just perpetuate the sentiment, and the imagined methods of our destruction are as varied as the timelines.

In the beginning of You Can Make Him Like You, the new novel by Ben Tanzer, the narrator introduces himself: “Hello, my name is Keith, and I am a selfish cocksucker.” From that point forward, hearing Keith’s voice was just like hearing my own voice, but the version of me I don’t have to live with. Which makes it that much more entertaining.

It’s not very often anymore that you can flip through literary sites without someone bitching and moaning about declining book sales, dwindling readership and the End of Publishing. The whole issue has almost reached the point where I’d say pull the plug and let the damn thing die.