BLOOD FABLE by Oisín Curran

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wah! i hadn’t realized BLOOD FABLE was already out. such a blur these past few months have been that somehow i missed its release. well no matter, but this is a singular portrait of childhood by the great Oisín Curran, author of the fantastic MOPUS. here’s what i wrote about Blood Fable:

This careful and loving rendering of a child’s mind proves that acts of storytelling were once not so much vehicles for escape but instead crucial rehearsals for being. A remembrance of lost time—or maybe, to reference its Buddhist undergirding, an alaya-vijnana, a storehouse consciousness—Curran’s vision of boyhood is perfect in details and sublimely moving. Blood Fable is a magnificent double take, which—like a bistable optical illusion (duck or rabbit?) —allows two universes to coexist. A rapturous adventure tale where the very essence of adventure is subverted so that fantasy and reality conflate; this is done not for temporary trickery but to deepen our comprehension of the real.

from the great canadian press: Bookthug

Mopus by Oisin Curran

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one of the best, genuinely experimental novels i’ve read in a long time… a daring and ambitious book, successful in its narrative high-wire act, oddly grounded in the current moment of apocalypse-always while circumventing completely the self-aggrandizing disaster movie poses. a consistent and non-sugary feeling of nostalgia, of remembrance of time just and long lost, sustained throughout.

structurally, this book’s the shit. or, to say it differently, it’s got beautiful answers to the novel’s problems of character and plot. why have we spent time playing with mobius strips and contemplating klein bottles? because their strange topologies are not only uncanny in their impossible possibility–but because they are metaphors for (or doorways to) the collapsed multi-possibilities of each particular existence. curran has composed an equivalent in prose, where doubles and ghosts and doppelgangers and recursive loops and variations on themes are all used to profound effect.

it’s a bit unsettling to not know where you are, which happens a fair amount, especially in the beginning, but the book slowly unfolds itself… and then refolds upon itself over and over… great books are worth reading again, but this one almost requires the second time through.

a close relative to two similarly slim, similarly cult-classic-y, dense episodic novels: david ohle’s MOTORMAN and jaimy gordon’s SHAMP OF THE CITY SOLO… but while i love those two books, MOPUS’ style, for better or worse, is less aggressive and confrontational than MOTORMAN’s and less pyrotechnic look-at-me than SHAMP. MOPUS is more straight-up lyrical, with rich and graceful passages describing place and nature. one downside: while in the midst of the book’s whirlwind, the characters’ emotional lives are rendered fairly straightforwardly, more surface-level observations and depictions than the deeper interiors one might expect…

but pretty damn great book. oh, and: after donald harington’s WITH and way better than auster’s silly TIMBUKTU–it’s got the best description of dog-mind i’ve ever.

consume directly from counterpath press.

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