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Girl Factoryby Jim Krusoe
Synopses & Reviews
A yogurt parlor in a corner mall somewhere in the city of St. Nils contains a dark secret in its basement, and Jonathan, the mostly clueless clerk who works there, just wants to fix things once and for all. But, beginning with an early encounter in an animal shelter that leaves three dead, things don't always work out the way they ought to. Or do they? Filled with memorable characters, including two dogs (one too smart for his own good) and a retired sea captain, this unsettling darkly comic novel is an exploration of memory, desire, and the nature of storytelling. More disturbingly, Girl Factory raises questions about the ubiquitous objectification of women, the possibility for change, and the nature of freedom.
"In the basement of a Southern California yogurt shop one hot summer night, Jonathan, a down-on-his-luck fro-yo slinger, discovers several young, beautiful naked women encased in glass and suspended lifelessly in a milky mixture. Jonathan's boss, Spinner, catches him nosing around and reveals his experiment: acidophilus, yogurt's active culture, has the uncanny ability to preserve and nourish life, he explains, and the women bobbing before Jonathan's wide eyes are making 'an investment in their future.' When foul play suddenly makes the women Jonathan's wards, he has to see if he has the right stuff to care for them — and perhaps free them. Poet Krusoe's fiction debut is as whimsical as multicolored sprinkles and as sweet as a dollop of Pinkberry." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Girl Factory is a humorous, genre-jumping, carnival-ride of a novel. It's smart, weird, unsettling, and downright fun to read. It's no wonder Jim Krusoe is one of Southern California's most notoriously daring literary icons." Mark Jude Poirier
"Jim Krusoe is one of America's most sincere satirists, a treasured literary oddball. No one interweaves the comic, the absurd, the outrageous, and the mundane or plays them off each other the way he does. It's been said that a truly unique literary production proposes its own genre. Surely that's true of Girl Factory, which twists tropes from Frankenstein, Bluebeard, contemporary headlines, old movies, the biology of extinction, the self-help movement, conspiracy theory, and more into a highly readable, unpredictable postmodern novella that always privileges unadulterated imagination." Amy Gerstler, author of Ghost Girl
"LA author Jim Krusoe's second novel, Girl Factory, begins with the planned execution of a preternaturally intelligent rottweiler — "Dog Too Smart for Own Good," the newspaper headline reads — and ends with an aborted prison break. This, then, is a love story, albeit one involving a most curious basement and vats of life-sustaining goo (the goo, which recalls the nutrient-rich fluids of Krusoe's equally delicious first novel, Iceland, keeps the girls of the book's title in a state of suspended animation. The book is creepy and comic; it's hero, a frozen yogurt shop manager, is fecklessness personified." Los Angeles Magazine
"But in the end, what I appreciate most about Krusoe is his quiet sincerity, his voice that puts its arm around your shoulder, embracing the many possibilities of the world while also acting as an intervention against its ugliness." Robert Silva, The Quarterly Conversation
"Jim Krusoe pulls of a balancing act between science fiction and subjectivity in this playful, funny novel." Los Angeles Times Book Review
Things don't always work out the way they ought to--or do they?--in this unsettling darkly comic novel. Filled with memorable characters, Girl Factory is an exploration of memory, desire, and the nature of storytelling.
Theres a disturbing secret in the basement of a strip mall yogurt parlor. Jonathan, the mostly clueless clerk who works there, just wants to fix things once and for all, but beginning with an encounter at an animal shelter that leaves three dead, things dont work out quite the way Jonathan intends . . . or do they? Beneath its picaresque surface, Girl Factory raises unsettling questions about storytelling, the nature of freedom, and the ubiquitous objectification of women.
About the Author
Jim Krusoe has written five books of poems, a book of stories, Blood Lake, and a novel, Iceland, published by Dalkey Archive Press. His stories and poems have appeared in the Antioch Review, Bomb, Denver Quarterly, the Iowa Review, Field, North American Review, American Poetry Review, and the Santa Monica Review, which he began in 1988. His essays and book reviews have appeared in the Los Angeles Times Book Review, the Washington Post, and Manoa. He is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Lila Wallace Readers Digest fund. He teaches at Santa Monica College and in the graduate writing program at Antioch University, Los Angeles. Iceland was selected by the Los Angeles Times and the Austin Chronicle as one of the ten best fiction books of 2002, and was on the Washington Post list of notable fiction for the same year. A collection of his stories, Abductions, which will be illustrated by Dani Tull, is scheduled for publication in September 2007.
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