Know thyself and nothing in excess. Just as the doomed sailors of Homer's Odyssey fail to heed one or the other of these maxims, and end up getting turned to swine or lured to their peril by the singing sirens; so too do the doomed characters in Joseph G. Peterson's new collection of stories fail idiotically in one way or another and end up, like those ancient sailors, facKnow thyself and nothing in excess. Just as the doomed sailors of Homer's Odyssey fail to heed one or the other of these maxims, and end up getting turned to swine or lured to their peril by the singing sirens; so too do the doomed characters in Joseph G. Peterson's new collection of stories fail idiotically in one way or another and end up, like those ancient sailors, facing the prospect of their own mortal twilight. Set mostly in Chicago and by turns gruesome, violent, comic, lurid and perverse, these stories are suffused with a metaphorical light that lends beauty and joy to the experience of reading them."For me Joe Peterson's voice is a fresh pair of feet on the very dusty road of contemporary American literature." —Dan FanteDownload the free ebook, or purchase the paperback version, at [cclapcenter.com/twilightidiots]....
|Title||:||Twilight of the Idiots|
|Number of Pages||:||200 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Twilight of the Idiots Reviews
Lots to say about Joseph G. Peterson's "Twilight of the Idiots." I'll keep it simple at the present moment, though, and simply put it like this, if you enjoy the hard-boiled stories of Nelson Algren, the wonderful anecdotes of Mike Royko and Studs Terkel and with a touch of Thom Jones or David Mamet for good measure, this is the story collection for you. Happy reading!
Tennessee Williams once wrote: “…paralysis in a character can be just as significant and just as dramatic as progress, and is also less shop-worn.”Joseph Peterson, for one, seems to have taken this lesson to heart. Peterson’s one of the most underappreciated authors on the underappreciated Chicago scene; I stumbled across him at a local literary event, and picked up one of his earlier books, and felt like I’d been let in on a secret. And this excellent collection sees him firing on all cylinders, crafting a memorable set of stories populated by pathetic and lovable characters who take us great places without ever going anywhere themselves.There’s a certain beautiful inertia to Peterson’s characters that seems well-suited to a country struggling to emerge from the Great Recession. Nobody’s upwardly mobile any more—nobody’s mobile at all, but rather just clinging fearfully to their tattered dirty scrap of the American Dream, unable to grab hold of anything new lest they lose what they have. (Even our self-help books seem overly passive; "The Secret," which came out just as our economic engine was starting to sputter and cough, seemed to imply that one needn’t do anything to succeed other than think positively, thereby attracting positivity and success from the universe-at-large.) But while passivity can be a mark of serenity, it can also mask inward fears, tension and depression. These people are stuck: mentally, physically, emotionally, you name it. Even calculating a plan of attack can feel overwhelming. One of his characters, for instance, longs to ask out a classmate, and Peterson describes it thusly: “Of course, for every plan I devised (like going up to her after class and asking her on a date), there was a counter plan (like she would reject me), and so instead of acting like a young man ought to act (with courage), I did the easiest thing possible (which was nothing).”And yet this isn’t some Seinfeldian book about nothing. His characters do take action, but futile action, sad and resigned and occasionally self-destructive action—or at best, action that’s only tangentially related to their hopes and dreams and desires. The above character, for instance, ends up getting a job at a fish frying shack, not because he has any desire to work there, or because it seems like a good opportunity, but because it’s a way to feel like he’s making some very roundabout progress towards becoming a person who matters, one who can ask out the girl he desires.It’s the interior action that matters, anyway. Peterson’s a supreme chronicler of dramatic internal tension, the madness of characters at war with themselves. “I have ideas in my head that only a long, good sleep can kill,” an earlier narrator says, in the midst of a story that somehow balances on the knife-edge of subtlety and impactfulness. It’s like he and all of the others are vibrating at some frequency that’s setting them at odds with the world-at-large, exuding some negative energy, the opposite of "The Secret." They’re charged particles, destined for annihilation in some cataclysmic collision with fate, nature, a cosmic hole, or simply each other.
This is a collection of tales that'll stick to your bones. And there's a bit of everything in this little book to ensure it. Everything from drunks and lovers to confused kids and even dead kids telling their story anyway. There's cops and tough ladies and life-fatigued moms. Like I said, a little bit of everything. And they're all just trying to get by the best they know how. While these are, in their own way, songs of innocence and experience, the stories are all brutally honest and respectful in their depictions. No one's judged in these stories. On top of it all, we get Joe Peterson's thoughtful and straightforward delivery. His prose reads as if someone's just sitting next to you at your local watering hole relating these events, and all with a certain kind of awe and wonder. That said, the sentences are taught and flawless, and the stories so well-crafted it only seems effortless. A highly recommended book of stories, especially for fans of Johnson's JESUS' SON and Hemingway's short stories, and probably also fans of Cormac McCarthy and Joyce Carol Oates. JGP is his own kind of writer, of course, but I think those that dig the above mentioned will definitely get into this one.
[DISCLOSURE: I own the small press that published this book.]I'm proud to announce that the amazing Chicago author Joseph G. Peterson's new book of stories will be coming out with CCLaP this May 18th, and that the pre-order page is now live at [cclapcenter.com/twilightidiots]. This is a collection of stories that all involve lumpen proletarian heroes; in other words, the "lovable losers" of society who seem to screw up everything they touch, no matter how much they try to do the right thing, with Peterson very humorously and touchingly showing why these frustrating members of society are still important, why they still matter. We are handing out free advance ebook copies of this title to each and every Goodreads member who wants one, in return for you posting your honest review of it here after you're done, so please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to take advantage of this, or simply send me a message here at Goodreads. This is a fantastic book, being backed up by a heavy live-events schedule Peterson will be embarking on this summer (along with fellow Chicago CCLaP short-story authors Matt Rowan and Ben Tanzer, the three of whom will be doing a series of events this summer as a team), so I hope you'll have a chance to check it out.
Lively stories, vivid settings, hapless characters that you can't help rooting for, even though you know things won't end up well for them. Joe Peterson's warmth and compassion shine through once again.
Yarns.More - http://bentanzer.blogspot.com/2015/07...
Peterson's best work. Worth every minute.