CITY OF SAINTS: HANGING FROM A PRECIPICE
Perhaps my favorite version of City of Saints & Madmen has just been released by Pan Macmillan in the United Kingdom.
The cover's wonderful and it's highly portable--and potable. I recommend it to anyone who likes 750 pages of interrelated controlled insanity. Or even the opposite of that. I keep a copy of this version on my lap while I watch television and pet it like a cat...or maybe I don't. (You'll never know.)
My favorite description of the book was offered up to me at the Pan Mac launch party for Jeff Ford and me back in April of last year. Claire Bott (sic?), a reviewer, handed me the following poem in the form of a paper airplane:
yourself up in
books are like
going for a
swim in the
sea when the
are like eating
book is like
from a tightrope
creep up from
I couldn't have said it better myself. At the time, I remember being somewhat disconcerted, unsure if this meant she liked the book or not, when it didn't really matter. If someone's willing to write you something like that, it definitely made an impression on that person. If I had it to do over, I would have read it and just looked her in the eyes and said, "You have to trust me enough to let yourself fall." ...
(Evil Monkey: "Wot wot? I see Jonathan Strahan has written a very reasonable post about building a web site." Jeff: "Yes. What about it?" Evil Monkey: "It's very reasonable." Jeff: "Yes. It's reasonable." Evil Monkey: "It doth not account for this, though, and probably not for bits and pieces of this." Jeff: "Oh, come on--it's a great, really reasonable piece about author sites." Evil Monkey: "It sure is. Very reasonable." Jeff: "...but what if I want to explode the fuck out of reasonable and do something cool as shit?" Evil Monkey: "That's reasonable too, dude. But can I tell you something?" Jeff: "What?" Evil Monkey: "Just don't spray when you talk. And if you're going to stand that close, either kiss me or back off." Jeff: "That sounds reasonable.")