Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Plug for a friend's book

An old friend of mine, Matt Marinovich, has had the well-deserved (and hard-earned) pleasure of seeing a novel of his brought to print. Strange Skies is published this month by Harper Perennial.

According to the Publisher's Weekly blurb:

In Marinovich's artful debut, married, childless Paul Mauro, 38, checks in with his doctor after a lump of cancer is removed from his bicep. He gets a clean bill of health and immediately starts dreading his life to come, which includes impregnating his wife, Lee. On the way out of the doctor's office he meets a beautiful woman, Alex, who has just been diagnosed with cancer. She assumes he's in the same boat, and Paul decides to play along. Paul, who narrates with a gallows humor, lies to Lee, too, about his condition and propels himself into a parallel fake-cancer world where women suddenly find him irresistibly brave. Paul's an unusally self-aware scoundrel, and his adventures, including his dread of fatherhood, are very funny in spots. The ending doesn't quite work, but readerly goodwill built up in the defter sequences compensates.

I haven't yet read Matt's novel, but we used to critique each other's material in a Boston-based writers group. His work was always top-notch. If the blurb appeals to you or you're looking to try a new author, I recommend giving this book a try.

And while I'm plugging Matt's book, don't miss the excerpt from my own (unpublished) novel, High Desert Barbecue, appearing in Rain Farm Press's journal, Paradigm.


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