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In this Japan of the mind, Ben Brooks cradles the intrinsic nihilism of the mass-culture-steeped adolescent world--then crumbles it in his fingers. What drifts out into the air is hilarious and desperate: sex as unguided yearning, silence underlying all substance, and a grinning darkness on every path ahead. These are invoked as emotions within some Japanese students and other humans, who are granted a single benevolence in the form of a deified bear. The story is a ukiyo-e, a hovering world that dissolves into spiral clouds. Its dissolution is as inexorable as any story has ever been. As a novel, it's a very funny, bitter poem; as a poem, it's an incredibly ferocious novel. Ben Brooks has made meaning out of the texture of meaning.
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Ben Brooks lives in Gloucester, in the north of England. This is his third novel; his most recent book was AN ISLAND OF FIFTY, published by ML Press. He s also the author of FENCES (Fugue State Press).
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