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The Spell

Tom Clark

5 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1574231243 / ISBN 13: 9781574231243
Published by Black Sparrow Press, 2000
New Condition: New Hardcover
From Dan Pope Books (West Hartford, CT, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Black Sparrow Press, 2000. First edition. Hardbound. One of 100 numbered copies SIGNED by the author, this is copy number 96. New in acetate dust jacket. A perfect unread copy. Bookseller Inventory # 6201

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Spell

Publisher: Black Sparrow Press

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

Dust Jacket Condition: New

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition...

About this title


The hero of this American gothic nightmare comedy is a messianic hillbilly prophet whose onetime local glory as a high school football star gives way to a career of outlaw questing. With the mysterious disappearance of his main squeeze -- an edgy, spooky honkytonk chanteuse -- that quest becomes increasingly deviant and deranged.

The landscape through which the earnest, confused seeker chivvies his banged-up black pickup truck is a magical and timeless one, its dense woods and dark lakes charged with a heavy burden of industrially-produced hexes, curses and toxic spells. Mechanical animals and changeling species, subjected to continual torments of re-programming, run half wild through a menacing backwater of poisonous tarns, vicious factories and slimy swamps. Elders of strange religions exercise insidious, unpleasant influences, while witches in Secret Shacks broadcast bad vibrations that produce genetic alterations. In this mutated vision of "reality" now, there is a general spell under which everybody is bound.

The Spell: A Romance is a strange, haunting and funny poetic novel about the survival of medieval chivalric codes -- and their dangerous implications -- in a toxic-shocked modern world. It is also a tale of love and quest, betrayal and revenge. The mysterious protean voice of the book slips back and forth from comic narrative prose to spare lyrical poetry as it becomes the voice of legend: allusive, expansive, suspending disbelief.

From Library Journal:

Billed as a poetic novel, this experimental tale is a hybrid of prose and poetry, medieval style and modern subject matter. Clark has published three earlier novels, 11 books of poetry, a collection of short stories, as well as several biographies and works of popular culture. The hero of Clark's strange new romance, Big Jesus Toomer's main claim to fame is his stint as a football star at Central Falls High School. Big Jesus travels through a bizarre world peopled by knights, witches, and puppet-dwarves as he searches for his missing girlfriend, the chanteuse. The formAhumorous prose vignettes interspersed with short lyric poemsAdoes not lend itself to narrative tension, and the choice of hillbilly names and myriad and bizarre adjectival clauses brings to mind country music. So do the episode titlesAmore than a 100Awhich include the following: "Heroic Sweat," "Born Under a Bud Sign," "The Hero Laments His Moniker," "Fleeting Promises (Nivene's Song)," "Dump Truck Night," and "The Hero Sacks Out at the Millennium Motel." Two-headed dogs howl by toxic lakes, witches haunt laundromats "puffing on dried pit-banana leaves and flapping their grizzled chaps." In the end, this novel never involves the reader, and the outrageous passages aren't nearly outrageous enough. It's a pastiche of too many discordant elements. Not recommended.ADoris Lynch, Monroe Cty. P.L., Bloomington, IN
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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