The Moon is a Lighthouse
by Peter Markus
Many great things have come out of Michiganthe Model T, Mark
The Bird Fidrych, Petosky stones, prehistoric fish,
lake effect, and, now, Peter Markus The Moon Is a Lighthouse
(from New Michigan Press, by way of Alabama). Now if you want to
read the latest pseudo-literary crap that has come out of the crap
machine of self-promotion from Dave Eggers or some crappy novel
that tries to make bones lovely and that everybody on the subway
is reading, then this isnt the writer or the book for you.
But if you want to read some amazing stories that are unlike any
stories that you have ever read before, then Peter Markus is your
guy and The Moon Is a Lighthouse is your book. These are
stories about brothers, a girl, a lighthouse, mud, fish, a bucket,
water, stars, the sky, the river, the moon, mouths, and holes. These
are stories that are created out of a language would make Andy Devine
smile, but that is particular to Peter Markus. The phrasing of the
sentences and the sentences of the stories and the stories of the
book become a chant that will enchant the reader. Peter Markus will
become your religion and you will worship the moon.
by Daren King
Did you read Daren Kings Boxy an Star? If you havent
read Boxy an Star, then stop reading this review, go find
a copy, and start reading. It is one of the most linguistically
inventive books that I have ever read (think Riddley Walker, but
Are you done reading Boxy an Star? Ok, Daren Kings
second novel is Jim Giraffe. You could think of Jim Giraffe
as a contemporary version of Dickens A Christmas Carol,
a really twisted, superperverted version of it. All you have to
do is substitute everyday life for Christmastime, one night for
a year or so, hip fictional language for that 19th-century crap,
and a ghost giraffe for those other three ghosts. You also need
to substitute a loss of everythingThat ghost giraffe
had taken everything. My wife, my home, my career.for
any sort of redemption.
The ghost giraffe leads to some great scenes. In one, the narrator,
being led on a ghostly journey of understanding by the ghost giraffe,
watches his father masturbate to gay porn. In another, the narrator
meets a boy from his childhood who is still thirteen years old.
In another, a truly touching scene, the narrator meets an overweight
character in the hospital who dresses up like a superhero (named
after the publisher, Jonathan Cape) and has sex with sick people
to make them feel better.
Besides that, there are other great characters in Jim Giraffe
besides the ghost giraffe. A ghost rhinocerous lives under the kitchen
sink, an old woman steals indoor footwear, and a neighbor who likes
television more than life.
There are some amazing turns in Jim Giraffe.
And I robbed a bank, I joke. I took all
of the money, and ran away.
I robbed a river bank, Jim says. Ate all
Yes, I say, getting carried away, and
we came back and ate all the water, and the river bank, and the
Heres another one:
I crouch on my hands and knees and insert my hands into
the drain. My hands freeze up and fall off, and I fall over.
Giving up, I stand up, brush the snow from my graph-paper
trousers and begin the long walk home. I have barely gone two
paces when my legs freeze up and fall off, and I fall over.
Thats enough. That should convince you that this is the most
amazing novel about a talking ghost giraffe that has ever been,
or ever will be, written.