[ Free books ] The Collected Works, Vol. 1Author Scott McClanahan – Albawater.co

Scott McClanahan is a powerful, exceptional writer, and the overall effect of reading his deceptively simple stories is like getting hit in the head by a champion cage fighter cranked up on meth that was cooked in a trailer without running water in some Kentucky backwoods where people sing murder ballads to their children to put them to sleep DONALD RAY POLLOCK, author of The Devil All the Time He might be one of the great southern storytellers of our time VOLBROOKLYN When I discovered the stories of Scott McClanahan last year, I was instantly enthralled with his natural storytelling voice and freaky funny tales There s no pretense to Scott s work It s like you re just dropped right into the middle of these fantastic and true stories It s like a sweet blend of my favorite southern writers, Larry Brown and Harry Crews Reading McClanahan is like listening to a good friend telling you his best real life stories on your back porch on a humid night And you both got a nice whiskey buzz going KEVIN SAMPSELL, author of A Common Pornography McClanahan s prose is unfettered and kinetic and his stories seem like a hyper modern iteration of local color fiction His delivery is guileless and his morality ambivalent and you get the sense, while reading him, that he is sitting next to you on a barstool, eating peanuts and drinking a beer, and intermittently getting up to pick a song on the jukebox THE RUMPUS Reads like Bukowski with surprises IMPOSE MAGAZINE Scott is a real storyteller all dark humor and heart Lately I don t feel like putting up with premises Sometimes it feels like the contemporary fiction table at bookstores is crying NO MORE PREMISES I AM CHOKING ON PREMISES But Scott s stories subvert the traditional arc in a voice streaked with shadows I liked hanging out with this voice. scott mcclanahan is on my list of favorite authors with a bunch of people who are dead. The first time I encountered the work of Scott McClanahan was at a literary event at Colonel Summers Park in Portland, Oregon During his reading, a buck naked homeless man walked up behind him holding a plastic bag over his genitals A minute later a cop car pulled up, sirens blaring, and arrested the homeless man Scott kept reading like nothing was happening Maybe he didn t notice Maybe this kind of thing happens to him all the time I don t know A few weeks later I was talking to some fri The first time I encountered the work of Scott McClanahan was at a literary event at Colonel Summers Park in Portland, Oregon During his reading, a buck naked homeless man walked up behind him holding a plastic bag over his genitals A minute later a cop car pulled up, sirens blaring, and arrested the homeless man Scott kept reading like nothing was happening Maybe he didn t notice Maybe this kind of thing happens to him all the time I don t know A few weeks later I was talking to some friends about how I d been blown away by The Stories of Breece D J Pancake Everybody was like, Yeah he s great, but have you read Scott McClanahan I hadn t So I bought this book and read it, expecting to hate it because I couldn t imagine that anybody who wasn t dead could write stories half as good as Trilobites and First Day of Winter But shit, I was totally wrong This book blew my mind It didn t remind me of Pancake though It reminded me of Denis Johnson s Jesus s Son with coal scraped Appalachian mountains taking the place of corn fields Both writers give you the feeling of walking into a dive bar, ordering a drink, and discovering that the guy sitting next to you, telling crazy stories full of half lies is the reincarnation of Walt Whitman Yet whereas Denis Johnson s lyricism is rooted in darkness and drugs, McClanahan s work is rooted in innocence He gives you the world through the eyes of a child in the language of one who s been born and died a thousand times Lines like And when I think of him now, I see all of my friends sprouting from the mountains like giants because he was the one who made the children grow One second he s talking about his father the grocer The next he s mythologizing him in the language of the old testament.I could say McClanahan is a writer s writer, but I don t think he is There s something universal about his work I m surprised he s notwidely read His writing is every bit as original as George Saunders, Haruki Murakami, Karen Russell, and Junot Diaz This book is the real deal Whenever I open up one of Scott McClanahan s books, it s like I m entering a bullshit free zone Scott has often been compared to other famously subversive writers such as Charles Bukowski and Harry Crews Also, Breece D J Pancake Although subject matters often overlap dysfunctional families and friendships, working shitty jobs, drinking, women I think Scott is Scott, and no He s like meets will ever fully encapsulate him He is just that singular Probably without eve Whenever I open up one of Scott McClanahan s books, it s like I m entering a bullshit free zone Scott has often been compared to other famously subversive writers such as Charles Bukowski and Harry Crews Also, Breece D J Pancake Although subject matters often overlap dysfunctional families and friendships, working shitty jobs, drinking, women I think Scott is Scott, and no He s like meets will ever fully encapsulate him He is just that singular Probably without even realizing it, he s cultivated his own style of storytelling, one that is full of minimal eloquence and honesty and absurdity, all while sticking close to his Appalachian roots He has a big heart and is mightily talented Read this book, and then read everything he s written He s fun He s profound He is only getting better I just bought this cuz the cover cracked me up fascist classics, I love that but then it was good funny and sad and kind of low key profound I m gonna find someof this weird shit. This dude is the real deal Those openings That voice I haven t had a book move me this much in quite some time Skip the intro and the afterword They detract from the book s power Particularly the introduction. stories about life and stuff completely amazing i don t even know what to say really that is exactly my point It is not about you, it s about Scott McClanahan.M SarkiComparisons might be made to Donald Ray Pollock, who I do respect, but Scott McClanahan is miles better as a writer and chronicler, though a bit too immature in these first collected works But McClanahan promises to grow into himself, and may have already done so by the time this reader moves on past these, his first two books Donald Ray is a damn good writer, but th that is exactly my point It is not about you, it s about Scott McClanahan.M SarkiComparisons might be made to Donald Ray Pollock, who I do respect, but Scott McClanahan is miles better as a writer and chronicler, though a bit too immature in these first collected works But McClanahan promises to grow into himself, and may have already done so by the time this reader moves on past these, his first two books Donald Ray is a damn good writer, but the main difference between Pollock and McClanahan is the truth behind the tales McClanahan s work is believable whereas you just have to know Pollock s work is mostly made up fiction That is not to say that both works are not made up , but it feelslike McClanahan is simply eager to talk to me, and he tells his shit to me straight He has a humble, almost naive quality about him An innocence in distance so far bereft of his certain to be oncoming pain His characters live in a tough world, and one not famous for its tender mercies It is hard, this life And hard to make up tales like these There is a sweetness and innocence to this childish hillbilly He does seem younger than his years I can almost label him a sophisticated redneck if it weren t for his aggressively loud and strong corn pone dialect With an accent like McClanahan s he could almost commit murder, but I doubt he would get away with it I love his stories and his endings, and sometimes, though predictable, surprise with a thoughtfulness generally missing in contemporary literature Behind most everything I read that is written by young authors today there is usually a sickening pretentious voice showing off and wanting to be on stage Everyone seems to be vying for the same ugly attention that seems so prevalent and important to the immature reader these days But McClanahan comes from a different station than most of us He is not ashamed of his life and what it has taken to survive it Even when describing his mother dressing him up as a pretty girl because she always wanted one lacks any shock value as it is expressed in such a straightforward and sensitive manner His character expects always to be teased Deceit and deception are the norms instead of some abhorrent act on his guiltless personage His always wanting to be a good person rings true, even when the outcomes are anything but There are few careless mistakes, but no escaping the escalating numbers of errors in his judgment You could call McClanahan naive, I did, but he ought by now to know better, if nothing else then because of the sheer numbers of incidents in which he has been lied to I believe his every path is booby trapped, and he accepts these land mines as his way of getting through to somewhere, and perhaps it is the end to each delightful story Of course now, in looking back through them, there is a story near the last few titled The Prisoners The same McClanahan who wrote all the preceding clever pieces is not the same person who wrote this grim tale By my lights one of the best, most sophisticated things he has ever written, at least so far, chronologically the way I am reading them, but not the most fun story to read compared to his other wild ass hick town adventures But it was a pleasure And this is where he gets me What writer will he eventually become as he motors on, maturing and honing his craft Based on what I have seen online in the extremely entertaining videos capturing his readings and short tours already completed my guess is he will stick to mostly the outrageous But I know he can write with the best of them based on this one story alone.The story Suicide Notes follows The Prisoners and is of the same sophisticated vein It is as if McClanahan grew six feet in stature in only fourteen pages Unbelievable One of my favorite topics and he handles it with such grace and nerve Not easy to do regarding something so grim in our society as offing oneself to end all the pain of living His questions hit home and the answers are not obligatoryWe like to think of ourselves as complicated But we re not The whole world is just a virusFable 1 begins where the last two fell off Another brilliant story, but this tender one about his mother s thirty three year teaching career and how it all was worth it, or maybe it was not The narrator s voice, Scott McClanahan, does not have the southern dialect, the corn pone tone that all the preceding stories had prior to The Prisoners Tom Brokaw himself could be narrating these last three stories as there is nothing to suggest it is the typically live reader I have seen and heard who goes by the name of Scott McClanahan.I do think some of these collected stories could have been a bit better, and some probably should have been discarded and not have been included in this special collected edition You know, just because an author writes something does not mean it is any good or should always be remembered I believe Scott McClanahan would agree with this remark and say so what he doesn t care But I think he can do much better than some of these stories included here, and perhaps his later work will prove me correct in my assumption I am not being hyper critical, but what makes Blake Butler and Sam I pretty much dislike everything I read Pink important enough to decide the worth of a budding genius in their writing of the foreword and afterword, and why would anyone care what either of them says anyway There isthan enough brilliant literature to read out there, so I have no idea what it is Sam Pink is reading that he so dislikes And for my own sake of argument, back and forth and back and forth among the couple voices coming from myself, the real I maintains the now staunch position that Scott McClanahan can do better than having literary caricatures speak on his behalf And the publisher needs to stop already with all the blurbs citing comparisons to Charles Bukowski and their saying McClanahan is the next one in our midst Bukowski was lucky he didn t get sick and die before he got to be a celebrity, and then it s just too bad he didn t do it anyway And since when do we U.S citizens celebrate authors who get drunk in public and insist on burning bridges just because they can Oh shit, I guess because we re fucking sick and always have been Somebody tell me one good piece Bukowski ever wrote I cannot suffer enough to find it McClanahan can stand on his own two feet And if he gets drunk at a reading and throws up on his new shiny boots it won t be because he is immolating Charles Bukowski He simply has the bug The one now that has most likely gotten to you too Imagine sitting on the back porch of a house in West Virginia and you re listening to this guy tell stories, well there you have it that is this book Well, also add in the fact that this guy you are listening to is sharing information that by just listening to him will curse you to suffer harm, whether that is getting hit by a car or infected with a suicide fever But at the end its all good, because he tells you that you are going to live a long and happy life if you believe him This col Imagine sitting on the back porch of a house in West Virginia and you re listening to this guy tell stories, well there you have it that is this book Well, also add in the fact that this guy you are listening to is sharing information that by just listening to him will curse you to suffer harm, whether that is getting hit by a car or infected with a suicide fever But at the end its all good, because he tells you that you are going to live a long and happy life if you believe him This collection has quite a nice blend of humor and sadness, crazy stories and introspection