MISERABLE ADVENTURE STORIES is a variegated collection of pop fiction by one of the best practitioners of the pop story, Alex Bernstein. Three of the stories aren’t miserable, they’re masterful…
Okay, you’re not supposed to draw attention to reviews – because then it’s like cherry picking if you don’t show the bad ones. But this one is so nice. (Listen, when Simon & Schuster start publishing my books, we can start a new conversation about it.)
The good folks over at New Pop Lit call the stories in MAS “Masterful examples of the pop genre” and “all entertaining”. You can read the full review here. Book reviews are a new sleeve over at NPL, and their other reviews are tremendously insightful about all the books they’re reading, new and old. And as always, check out the rest of their site for some of today’s best up and coming authors.
Of course, you can easily discover what’s so masterful and entertaining about Miserable Adventure Storiesby picking up your own copy here. You can also find it at many of your better bookstores. Ask for it by name!
Excited to announce that New Pop Lit is featuring The Rottweiler – the flagship story from my new collection Miserable Adventure Stories – on their site starting today. NPL is publishing some of the most exciting up-and-coming indie fiction around right now, and I’m thrilled to be among their authors. Go spend an hour on their site – you won’t regret it.
They also wrote an incredibly lovely introduction to the story that you can find here. (Super cool illustrations, too. If you’re into all things Holmes, you should be very cozy here.)
Here’s the opening of the story itself:
It was a cold, brittle day in late December when I came to the apartments of 442D Butcher Street, London, and met my cousin, the illustrious Sir Roderick Rottswilde for the first time. But Sir Roderick was known by another more famous name. He was familiar to all Londoners as not-quite-the-World’s-Greatest-Detective, and second-only-to-that-august-personage-himself-Mr. Sherlock Holmes. My elder cousin was, in fact, The Rottweiler.
And now, Sir Roderick – The Rottweiler – had done the impossible. He’d recovered the Crown Jewels of the Tower of London itself and captured the brigands who’d stolen them. And, today, amid a sea of reporters, he was turning both over to the highest ranking officers of Scotland Yard.
Very excited to announce that my extremely profane piece Obscenity Trial is in the long-awaited third volume of Encyclopedia. I received my copy of Encyclopedia the other day and it is a gorgeous book, full of literary (and artistic/photographic) genius. This tome has been swirling around in the ether for – literally – about five years now. I was actually stunned to finally hold it in my hands. But the encyclopedists have done fine, fine work. You can order the book here.
Below is a (redacted) snippet from Obscenity Trial. Pick up Vol 3 to read the full thing.
Yes, the d.w. eye Reunion is actually happening! It’s going to be Friday, June 23, 2017 at the 20th Century Theater in Cincinnati. For anyone who’s read Plrknib, this will essentially be the book coming to life before your very eyes (except everyone is significantly older). Comedians appearing in the book who are scheduled to perform include Drew Hastings, Chili Challis, Rico Bruce Wade, Cap & Johnny, and myself. (And this will be the first stand-up I’ve performed in Cinti in over 30 years! Oy.) We’re joined by a ton of great comics who performed at the eye shortly after the period that’s covered in the book, including Michael Flannery, Steve Caminiti, Jim Gilliece, and Mark Kline. And we expect to be joined by even more eye alumni. (If you’re reading this and you ever performed at the eye, please contact me or Michael Flannery.) Even Don Merriss, the original owner of the eye, will be on hand!
Flannery and I have been assembling this event for a couple months now. If you’re in the area – this is going to be much more than a “night at a comedy club.” We’re turning this into an event with a ton of surprises in store.
Also the night before the show, Thursday 6/22, we’ll be doing a signing of Plrknib at Joseph Beth Booksellers in Rookwood Pavilion.
Lots of exciting Plrknib news this week – and in the weeks to come! An excerpt from the book – nicely titled “Funny Guy” – is featured in the current “After Dark” issue of Cincinnati Magazine. It’s only available in the print edition of the magazine – which you can order here. Here’s a snippet from the piece, below.
If you’re in Cincinnati and looking to pick up a copy of Plrknib (along with the new Cincinnati Magazine) in an actual bookstore, one place you can certainly find it is at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Rookwood Pavilion. A friend sent in the lovely picture below. How appropriate to be sandwiched between Savages and Madness! (I was told by someone else that it was a store pick in JBB, and had one of those “why you should check this out” notes above it. How nice.)
And we have some VERY BIG announcements coming soon, especially again, for folks in the Cincinnati/Ohio area.
One Minute Plays demystifies the super-short-form play, demonstrating that this rich, accessible format offers great energy and variety not only to audiences but to everyone involved in its creation and performance. The one minute play offers a unique challenge to actors, directors and writers: how do you create a whole world, where actors have room to perform and where audiences have a true experience all in 60 seconds? This handbook includes:
An anthology of 200 one-minute plays selected from the annual Gone in 60 Seconds festival.
A toolbox of exercises, methodologies and techniques for educators, practitioners and workshop leaders at all levels.
Tips and advice on the demands of storytelling, inclusivity and creative challenges.
Detailed practical information about creating your own minute festival, including play selection, running order, staging and marketing.
I’m also thrilled that a few of my own Gi60 pieces have been included: Ace and Me, King Kwik, Nothing, and Sleep Tight.
You can order a copy of this highly recommended book here.
You can also pick up a copy at the author’s party on Monday, May 1st at the Drama Bookshop in NYC. Should be a great time, and they’ll be doing staged readings of several pieces, including Sleep Tight.
Nice, in-depth article about Plrkniband d.w. eye today at WVXU (in Cincinnati) written by John Kiesewetter, someone who was there at the time and remembers the comics intimately. This leads into an interview coming up this Sunday night on WVXU with Kiese and fellow eye alum, Michael Flannery.
Mike Flannery came to the eye right when I was heading off to college and just tore the place up. He went on to become hugely popular, winning Showtime’s funniest comic in Ohio twice, hosting the kids’ show Club 19, anchoring WCPO TV news, and basically becoming the most famous eye personality in Cinti.
Back in the mid-80’s I performed with him at least twice – once in ’85 at Aunt Maudie’s, and once in late ’87 at the Funnybone – where he shredded the place and I died a horrible death.
Flan remains very much on top of his game. So, it was a real honor doing the VXU interview alongside him. And…we may be doing some additional performing together in the near future. Watch this space…
(You can hear the Plrknibinterview this Sunday, March 19th at 7p on WVXU’s Around Cincinnati.)
(I got a little tired of re-posting the cover of the book; so here’s a picture of a dog.)
Yes, Plrknib now has something in common with toilet paper!
Hey – we got a super lovely review over at New Pop Lit!
Yeah, I know I’m not supposed to post references to a lot of reviews – because then I should be posting the bad ones, too, right? (Not too many of those, yet, tho. Give it time!) But this one is super-lovely, so…
Here’s a little excerpt…
….Like a comedian’s joke, Plrknib is the kind of narrative you fight against when you start reading it, but it pulls you along despite yourself. Like most of Bernstein’s writing, it’s irresistibly absorbing. Where is this book heading, you ask? What does “plrknib” mean? You’re skeptical, but you continue reading.