A Psychedelic Fairytale For The Modern Age, A Greater Monster Is The Mind Bending Second Novel By The Author Of The Acclaimed Death By Zamboni This Darkly Poetic Tale Takes You On A Trip Into A Radically Twisted Alternate Reality That Reflects Civilization Like A Funhouse Mirror Along The Way, You Ll Encounter Sphinxes, Gods, Living Skeletons, Witches, And Quite Possibly The Strangest Circus Ever Imagined Innovative And Astonishing, A Greater Monster Breathes New Life Into The Possibilities Of Fiction A Greater Monster is not a novel as much as a state of mind Reading it is like having a fantastic buzz AGM is as clear as a window to the soul, and as confusing as brain mapping It s right on and slightly off Black and white and vivid colors Funny Pensive Thought provoking Radiant and dark Like reading in a state of half awake ness, not reeeeally remembering every beautiful and crazy detail of what s happening, but knowing it s something strangely important It s the simple confusion of a hangover, just not as painful Like a slow motion hyper motion dream, when you try to see but just can t focus on one thing because the experience is too much to absorb all at once Waiting patiently and impatiently, struggling with your SELF Waitingwaitingwaitingfor nothing and for everything, all at the same time Like Waiting for Godot I found it interesting that the main character in AGM has no name Like someone you met once, but don t really know Someone you will never know, but somehow someone you should know, someone you have ALWAYS known I turned back pages to look for his name because it seemed like I missed something, like his name What s in a name What IS a name As the story grows, the main character is neither male nor female, big or little, human or animal No name or title or descriptor does the character justice It isSELFA nameless A me OnlySELFSELF was constantly changing from puppetier to puppet, moving in and out of SELF Finding things SELF wasn t searching for, something SELF had lost without realizing Not lost in a dream, rather something lost inside SELF A thing A secret The dark closet of SELFNESS Memories Meezzy PAY ATTENTION and DO NOT miss references to associated links The bone pounding drums are hard and heavy, heavenly and hot, like ice cubes on fever The pounding left me breathless, panting, wanting , holding SELF, shaking SELF, then exhaling firey pieces from inside my SELF The radical emotional orchestra is the perfect state of mind visual companion, and floats you through wave after crashing wave of story Caitlin Drake McKay s beautiful design contribution takes you visually through a circus performance that is emotionally sensual and sad, but sad in a way that makes you cry when it s over, and smile at the memory There are many wonderously weird, scary, strange, weirdly odd, weird, sexy, weird did I say weird , anomalous characters that guide you through to the end of the journey.Mr Katzman uses creative typesetting to challenge the reader to see, not only what is being said, and to feel what is happening, rather what is NOT Imagine a Yellow Brick Road laid with words and letters and formatting, built vertically toward something higher than you The white space is poetry Space LessTime Less thinks Wanting Feels Filled SELF thingly FullEmpty Space A Greater Monster is not a novel, it s an adventure, it s a state of mind It s a beautiful trip SELF must take in order to come back home. A Greater Monster is an audacious, ambitious antinovel that takes the form at a guess of a continuous hallucinatory trip through the depths of the imagination The unities of time are doused with fourteen pints of lexical petroleum Linearity, plot logic and coherence are torched on the bonfire in favour of language that uses typographical innovation to mimic the helter skelter loopiness of the unconscious Language doesn t escape the sousing here, wordplay is permitted a little pas de deux before Katzman violently beats his words around the cursives with sticks Starting in the past then switching into the future tense, the novel puts all its faith in the rhythmical wave of words sentences are clipped and speedy, frantic and free The image driven and action led surrealism is unrelenting and will test or polarise the readership.To what extent the typographical stunts are entirely relevant to the Greater Aesthetic Purpose, or exist merely in and of themselves, is up for debate But the range of artful deviations on here is delightful snaking and spiralling sentences, first person pronouns exploding in your face, hands and busts reaching out the page, all sorts of kerning and spacing shenanigans, plus, most impressively, 75pp of beautiful black paper illustrations Katzman s commitment to the book as both an evolver of language and a work of visual art shines through Although A Greater Monster it seems wants to be read linearly, it opens itself to random reading and the reader s immersion in the delicious word waves Perfect for those seeking their next blast of brain stretching oddness and loving wordbendery. I hate this book, but that is a good thing There s no denying David David Katzman DDK is a talented writer He s no hack He s no dilettante fucking around because he thinks he has a good idea that just needs to be published He s the real deal A writer s writer A writer with teeth and muscle A writer with the ability to incite And that s what he did to me with A Greater Monster.He incited rage and loathing, but that is a good thing.He was a Cathead playing with me like the proverbial mouse or a dog who refuses to masturbate before killing me and eating me His font games and wordplay were sadistic His incessant twisting of homonyms and homophones was unbearable Torturous is not an understatement I wanted nothingthan for this book to end I needed to be free of the trail of gunpowder he d lit like a nasty, hallucinogenic Bugs Bunny But all that s good too It s a good thing because there s an audience out there begging for A Greater Monster needing A Greater Monster I may not be part of that audience, but they exist I even know a few of them And they will read this book on my recommendation and be incited to raptures and ecstasies, and they will rank it amongst their favourites ever DDK is a voice for those of the urban subterrain he is the voice of the edges and cracks and perforations of asphalt and post industrial cubicles People need DDK writing for them and to them and at them.And he deserves to be read Not just his brilliantly funny Death by Zamboni but this ugly, perverse, fomenting treatise of hyperreality called A Greater Monster All DDK s works deserve to be read.I want him to be read I want you to read him, whatever your feelings might be when you re through Read him Love him Hate him Read this Love this Hate this But don t walk away from this book untouched, unaffected Love A Greater Monster or hate A Greater Monster or love and hate A Greater Monster, but don t put it down with an indifferent shrug If you do that, the failure is yours.This book is extreme, so too should be your response, whichever direction it takes I hate this book Almost as much as I love DDK So when I get around to offering an upper level course in Bizarro fiction, this book will be the first on the required reading list I hate this book, but I don t have to like it to recognize its merit it has always been my policy to rate books based on how I feel about them rather than their merit. 1 3 12 Was listed as the number one book of 10 Hot Chicago Reads For Chilly Nights on Refinery29.com 12 31 12 Was named a top 10 book of 2012 on The Common Ills blog According to the post Beth championed it near weekly in her column for the gina and krista round robin It is a jigsaw of writing and you find yourself falling down the rabbit hole A book to ponder and to read for the sheer life on the page, Beth observed.12 7 12 A flattering review appeared in The Chicagoist for A Greater Monster Some highlights This is a psychedelic Burroughs dream and an aggravated Lewis Carroll nightmare, a world in which we must continuously re adjust our bearings.The brilliance of his imagination aside, we must also consider that this novel is a lot to absorb.Yes, the novel is difficult to read at times Yes, you will have to read certain passagesthan once and often read them in various ways Of course, your face will start to hurt from the perplexed look you ll be wearing over the duration of the book However, you will be refreshed with new characters and situations every few pages all of which will be other worldly You will stumble onto sparks, which will snowball into a catharsisthan once Most of all, you will be challenged as both a reader and a thinker If the pros outweigh the cons for you, then David David Katzman might just be your new favorite author 5 27 12 Received a thoughtful review in the Psychedelic Press UK here The reviewer says The book s blurb describes it as Innovative and astonishing breathing new life into the possibilities of fiction and, without doubt, the novel lives up to this description A psychedelic journey into the splintered mind of a life on the desiring edge 5 1 12 A Greater Monster has won a Gold Medal as an Outstanding Book of the Year in the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards So say the awards These medalists were chosen from our regular entries for having the courage and creativity necessary to take chances, break new ground, and bring about change, not only to the world of publishing, but to our society There were only 10 winners in different categories out of 5000 entries The judges of the competition sent me the following review quotes from their evaluation Imaginative, explosive and poetic A real trip A brain singeing look at humanity at its strangest Dark and edgy, like a Blade Runner for English majors 1 27 12 Another lovely review, this one from from Reader Views critic Paige Lovitt Full review is here Last paragraph reads Intelligently written and displayed, A Greater Monster is truly like no book I have ever read before While visions of Alice in Wonderland strayed through the back of my thoughts, this book is so muchI admire David David Katzman s creativity and the amount of work that must have gone into creating such an exotic literary gift for readers who like to read beyond the lines of contemporary fiction.Received a review from Midwest Book Review Here are the highlights When we see something unusual, we rarely expect it to be the tip of the iceberg A Greater Monster is a novel from David David Katzman who brings readers into a unique alternate reality that has many twists and turns With unique humor and plenty to think about, A Greater Monster is a fine and much recommended choice.Several writers were kind enough to read my book in manuscript form before its release They had the following to say Brilliant, insane and utterly unique, A Greater Monster offers pure sensory stimulation, verging on sensory overload The graphics, concept and narration are pause worthy, and they all combine to create literary indulgence at its best its most interactive The narrator in A Greater Monster doesn t hold your hand and guide you he doesn t ask you to like him Instead, he delivers a sharp uppercut to your chin and asks you to stop cowering, open your eyes, and fight back You will He ll make you Jen Knox, author ofTo Begin Again2011 Next Generation Indie Book Award winner Beautiful mystic schizo DayGlo wordage Poetic prose that befuddles, enchants, and amuses the reader at the same time Lance Carbuncle, author ofGrundish AskewThis is bizarro fiction at its most intense It contains scenes and unique designs that seem engineered by some Mad Hatter and Chuck Palahniuk cross breed Lavinia Ludlow, author ofalt.punkAfter David David Katzman s brilliant first novel, Death by Zamboni, a masterclass in the uses to which comic writing can be put, comes a novel that couldn t bedifferent A Greater Monster opens in a world that s immediately and recognizably ours before spinning off into a spiritual and carnal quest that reads like Alice on acid, while channeling every trash sci fi nightmare Creepy Tales had to offer Charles Lambert, author ofScent of CinnamonandAny Human FaceA Greater Monster is a highly creative and original story combining poetry, imagery, and prose all working seamlessly without a break in momentum Charlie Courtland, author ofDandelions in the GardenI can t express how brilliant my favorite scenes in A Greater Monster are In this extraordinary work, Katzman pushes language to do things, which are truly astounding This is where Artaud meets Williams S Burroughs meets Lewis Carroll in an obscene, violent dissolution of character, plot, and setting A Greater Monster dismantles the foundations of narrative, of the human subject as master and center of time and space, reason and language, and the word is transformed into image, into an indigestible thing that both resists easy consumption and is utterly entertaining Carra Stratton, Editor Starcherone Press One of the most beautiful independently produced novels I ve ever seen the cover, the layout, the dozens of black pages showing white lined stick figures in a sort of simultaneously graceful yet hectic dance maybe Text spirals, the letter I grows and grows to fill the page, there s handwritten text, on and on Did you like House of Leaves Are you a fan of Blake Butler s Three Hundred Million If so, keep reading What are your expectations when it comes to novels Do you like characterization and coherence Do you like to at least kinda like your narrator Do you like to know WTF is going on If so, proceed with extreme caution If you answered nah to all most of these questions, you re in luck In general, for me, this is one of those beautiful flowers that entice and attract unsuspecting little reading bees but once inside the origami swirls of the petals pages, a fight flight mechanism kicks in, they re repelled yet drawn in, want to escape but push ahead, stuck to the surfaces, curious, determining how much orientation obliteration can be handled before a fatal sense of obfuscation sets in, how long little reader bees like me can concentrate before zoning out and picking up their phone or something where the words don t run in the opposite direction of their attention In a message through this site when we exchanged novels note the potential conflict of interest tag , the author mentioned something about wanting to try to depict the psychedelic experience, which seemed to me like such a difficult thing to do, something maybe Jodorowsky did in film and so many bands have done well in music In my experience, the winner for best depiction of the psychedelic experience, other than Hendrix s 1983 A Merman I Shall Turn To Be, are probably two albums by Talk Talk, Laughing Stock and Spirit of Eden,so than all those far out psych nuggets from the late 60s When I think about what such experiences felt like long ago when I was half my current age, I m happy to report that they never approached anything like this novel, in very large part because I never took anything like 500 hits of DMT infused into a single lozenge scored off a homeless guy I do like how exaggerated the experience is, how awful the narrator is early on, sexist and self aggrandizing etc, and how the icky formation of his ego is blown to a few hundred pages of smithereens bits if the narrator comes down toward the end intact, looking forward to the clarity of a gentle new dawn, I didn t quite register the reformation or a return in general to anything approximating formal convention Regarding the all important provision of stars, I ve given it five as I do all potential conflict of interest books but I also love this one s looks and respect the audacity of the experiment and the author s complete total commitment to its execution. I was recently at the Strand Bookstore in NYC where a pile of this handsome novel was prominently displayed at the front under the category Mind Expanding Reads And I thought, yep, that s it exactly It s rare these days that a book s prose wrenches my mind into unexpected shapes, but A GREATER MONSTER is configured to do exactly that The tome is a marvel of design, from the morphing flow of how the paragraphs and sentences are arrayed on the page to the shifting and fading fonts to the extended sequence of pure illustration It s a gorgeous physical object that I can t imagine wanting to experience as a digital file But all that design is at the service of the sentences, which swirl and switchback as they hurtle you through a surreal narrative that keeps severing its hold on so called reality This is a book that you pick up when you re ready to surf through a mindspace of poetic mysticism, gritty humor, and sci fi visions Which is really just scratching the surface because if anything the book is about constantly giving youI don t generally give too much import to blurbs, but this one from poet Jennifer Knox resonated loudly for me Brilliant, insane, and utterly unique, A Greater Monster offers pure sensory stimulation verging on sensory overload The graphics, concept, and narration are pause worthy and they combine to create literary indulgence at its best its most interactive The narrator doesn t hold your hand and guide you he doesn t ask you to like him Instead, he delivers a sharp uppercut to your chin and asks you to stop cowering, open your eyes, and fight back You will He ll make you. This was the weirdest and most creative book I have ever read It isthan a book,like a mind altering substance It started off normal enough, but that part of the book was very short lived Once the main character ingests the anonymous substance given to him by a homeless man, the insanity begins There was a point in the book soon after in which I felt very lost As it floated in a stream of consciousness style for the next 70 or so pages, it was very challenging to me Once the snow queen appeared, I felt it begin to come together a bitFrom then on, I caught some of the bigger things going on under the surface and the story becamegrounded There is just so much going on in the book that it was hard to keep my mind around it, numerous philosophical leanings and negative aspects of our consumerist nature to name just a few I will not pretend that I fully understood all parts of this book I would like to eventually reread it, as I am sure I will grasp muchthe 2nd time around Although it is a lot to handle, this is a beautiful book, perhaps better described as a work of art, both in the layout and the language used to convey the story I recommend it to any who are willing to step far outside of what they are used to reading. Having recently finished this book a few thousand miles ago, I m just now finally getting around to writing my review, seated at my favorite Lebanon coffee shop.I sharpen up the stylus and procure a fresh slab of clay before approaching the counter, mumbling vaguely to the green eyed, olive skinned barista behind it, pretending as though we re not about to spend the next 43 years together Reaching through seven veils of silken scarves, she hands me a cup of something cool and gravity I return to my seat on the Brooklyn side of the establishment, sipping heavy froth.As I sit down to write this, my mind starts to wander up my own ass, but luckily I m able to reel it back out before it reaches the sigmoid colon Wiping off the strange, spherical object in its grip, I pop my mind back into my head and set its prize on the table beside me I m gonna call you Ted, I say, patting it affectionately before returning to my tablet.Eleven minutes and three lines later, I glance over to see how Ted s doing He s grown a pair of ruby red lips and a shock of wild, black hair on top of his fat, white head, giving him the distinct appearance of an aging Robert Smith What are you doing, man, he says Well, I reply, I m trying to write this book review, but I keep getting distracted by stuff That s no way to write a review I know, man, fuck I haven t been this flustered since the KKK Korruptedest Kanadian Kleptocracy stole my hard earned tax dollars to purchase bargain bin DIY abortion kits for all the Puerto Rican girls in New Jersey Oh well, I guess it s back to the Essex County sperm bank for all parties involved.Outside, the street looks suspiciously like my bath mat Naked frogs in shower caps parade past the window in a line that wraps around the block, waiting their turns to bathe One of them catches my eye and taps her back scrubber against the glass pane, trailing a long, prismatic smear of translucent eggs and pond scum across its surface Well, that makes sense at least, I think to myself.Moral of the story If a homeless man offers you a lump of black tar, it s probably not hash, but that doesn t mean you shouldn t eat it anyway.More from D.D Katzman I m a big fan of David David s work I loved Death by Zamboni and thought it was hilarious This book is completely different and incredibly creative I blurbed A Greater Monster, writing Beautiful mystic schizo DayGlo wordage Poetic prose that befuddles, enchants and amuses the reader at the same time I think I also wrote something about being like Naked Lunch, minus the sharp odor of penetrated rectums But, David David cut that part out of the blurb, claiming that the whole penetrated rectum thing might not be a big seller I guess that I can t blame him and I should probably delete what I just wrote Unfortunately, I was too cheap to buy a laptop with a delete button and what I write has to stay put Anyway, Mr Katzman is very talented writer that has shown great range with his first two books I look forward tofrom him Check his stuff out He is an example of what is so good about independent publishing.
ve been honored to be selected to have my art in a show at the Baton Rouge Gallery Center for Contemporary Art for two years running The show is called Surreal Salon and the judge in 2018 was the brilliant Ron English and in 2019 was the amazing Camille Rose Garcia.
- 369 pages
- A Greater Monster
- David David Katzman
- 14 June 2019 David David Katzman