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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Fantasy Book Critic’s 2008 Review/2009 Preview — David Oppegaard


2008 FAVORITES:

As a young writer, I’m always broke and always behind in my reading, so a lot of non-writing time gets absorbed by catching up on the classics and reading whatever happens to catch my eye at the library. I finally read “Ulysses” by
James Joyce this year, more as a challenge to myself than as fun free reading, and I was presently surprised at the depth and range of the various points of view Joyce used in the novel. One could argue that, for all its stupefying difficulty, “Ulysses” is a sort of urtext for all the fiction that has come since, not only in the realm of literary fiction, but also in the lands of fantasy and speculative fiction as well.

I also enjoyed “The Savage Detectives” by
Roberto Bolaño, which I thought showed an astonishing range in character voice and suffered only a little from its bloated middle.

The Green Child” by
Herbert Read, first published in 1935, is a gorgeous old-school blend of science fiction and philosophy, with a healthy dose of clean, beautiful prose thrown in to boot.

Tree of Smoke” by
Denis Johnson is a mega-book, well-deserving of the National Book Award it won and, more than that, it should have the legions of readers usually reserved for books with cute animals on the cover.

Rounding out my top five, “The Miracle Letters of T. Rimberg” by
Geoff Herbach, a wild and crazy collection of humorous suicide letters written by a man who has lost his grip on life and seems content to let it ride.

ON THE HORIZON FOR DAVID OPPEGAARD:

My first novel, “The Suicide Collectors”, was just published this December by
St. Martin’s Press, so I have just begun to launch my guerrilla campaign. I’ll be doing several readings in my home state of Minnesota and the usual slate of interviews, Internet promotions, and arm wrestling tournaments.

My second novel “Wormwood, Nevada” may also come out late in 2009, through
St. Martin’s Press as well. It’ll be a wild year.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

David Oppegaard holds a B.A. in English Literature from St. Olaf College and an M.F.A. in Writing from Hamline University, and was a finalist for the Indiana Review Fiction Award and the Iowa Fiction Award. “The Suicide Collectors” (Reviewed
HERE) is his publishing debut. For more information, please visit the author’s Official Website.

NOTE: For more author responses, please visit Fantasy Book Critic's 2008 Review/2009 Preview index
HERE.

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