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Other titles in the Vintage Contemporaries Original series:
The Buzzingby Jim Knipfel
Synopses & Reviews
Meet Roscoe Baragon-crack reporter at a major (well, maybe not that major) metropolitan newspaper. Baragon covers what is affectionately called the Kook Beat-where the loonies call and tell him in meticulously deranged detail what its like to live in their bizarre and lonely world. Lately Baragons been writing stories about voodoo curses and alien abductions; about fungus-riddled satellites falling to earth and thefts of plumbing fixtures from SRO hotels by strange aquatic-looking creatures. Not exactly New York Times material.
Maybe its the radioactive corpse that puts him over the edge. Or maybe its the guy who claims to have been kidnapped by the state of Alaska! But Baragon is now convinced that a vast conspiracy is under way that could take the whole city down-something so deeply strange that it could be straight out of one of the old Japanese monster movies that he watches every night before he goes to sleep. But stuff like this only happens in the movies. Right?
The Buzzing marks the fictional debut of the acclaimed author of Slackjaw. It is a novel of deep paranoia and startling originality. And it could certainly never happen. Right? Right?
"The Balzac of the bin is at it again. With this paranoid Valentine to New York and to a certain saurian colossus noted for his own ambivalent feelings about large cities Mr. Knipfel now brings to fiction the welcome gifts which distinguished his previous books the authenticity, the narrative exuberance, the integrity of his cheerfully undeluded American voice." Thomas Pynchon
"[An] uproarious fiction debut....Hilarious and genuinely exciting." Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Knipfel knows how to pull a reader into his orbit. His writing has a hard-boiled magnetism. By the time Baragon shows signs of cracking up, you're already invested in him — he might be a lunatic but you can't be sure. It's to the author's great credit that you never quite know until late in the novel whether Baragon is simply paranoid or whether he's onto something." New York Times
"Knipfel's ability to spin something out of nothing stands him in good stead in his nonfiction, but his novel stalls for general lack of activity." Publishers Weekly
"[A] conspiracy involving whales, earthquakes, Japanese fishing boats, nuclear submarines under the control of vacationing golfers, a lost mythical sea colony akin to Atlantis, and Godzilla. If it seems like a challenge to bring this conglomerate of subjects together, Knipfel meets it head on and ties up all the loose ends at the end of his first novel." Booklist
In his first novel, Knipfel--author of the critically acclaimed memoirs "Slackjaw" and "Quitting the Nairobi Trio"--tackles modern life as it may be currently lived in New York City, and gives new meaning to the phrase "conspiracy theory."
In his first novel, Jim Knipfel — author of the critically acclaimed memoirs Slackjaw and Quitting the Nairobi Trio — tackles modern life as it may be currently lived in New York City, and gives new meaning to the phrase "conspiracy theory."
Roscoe Baragon enjoys a reputation as a journalistic pro. Although, ever since he's taken on the kook beat at the New York Sentinel, that reputation has become slightly besmirched. Suddenly the stories he hears about Voodoo curses, alien implants, and abductions by, say, the state of Alaska are making a little too much sense. It may be that the logic he discovers in these paranoid fantasies has something to do with the Japanese B movies he's addicted to, or it may be that its all connected to the failed NASA experiment hurtling toward Earth, Pacific earthquakes, and revenge-seeking cetaceans. The Buzzing marks the fictional debut of an author with a voice and a vision uniquely his own.
About the Author
Jim Knipfel lives in Brooklyn, New York. That much he knows.
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