Synopses & Reviews
This intense and compact novel crackles with obsession, betrayal and madness. As the narrator becomes fixated on his best friend's girlfriend, his precarious hold on sanity rapidly deteriorates into delusion and violence. Alonso skillfully uses language to imitate memory and psychosis, and deliberate misuse of standard punctuation blurs the distinction between the narrator's internal and external worlds. This story can be read as the classic myth of Hades and Persephone (Core) rewritten for a twenty-first-century audience as well as a dark, foreboding tale of unrequited love and loneliness. A sense of alienation and Faulknerian grotesquerie permeates this landscape, where desire is borne in the bloom of a daffodil and sanity lies toppled like an applecart in the mud.
"Jump through this gothic stained-glass window and you are in for some serious investigation of darkness and all of its deadly sins. But take heart, brave traveler, the adventure will prove thrilling. For you are in the beautiful hands of Kassten Alonso." Tom Spanbauer, author of The Man Who Fell in Love With the Moon and In the City of Shy Hunters
"Romance is too limiting a word to describe the content of this book, which is the manifestation of some more powerful and tangled compulsions, more reckless ambitions." Michael Ray, Editor, Zoetrope: All Story
"A novel of considerable daring and precision. In finely worked language, Kassten Alonso explores the border between Hell and the everyday, finding it closer than we might have hoped. A dense, surprising, beautifully worked novel." Kevin Canty, author of Honeymoon and Other Stories
"Kassten Alonso takes the reader on a wild ride inside the mind of a profoundly disturbed man as he descends into madness and violence. A beautifully written book. Impossible to put down." James Frey, author of A Million Little Pieces
"Kassten Alonso's amazing Core will startle you. A fierce story that actually taught me to read it as I went deeper and deeper it's as if this book is written in a rich, beautiful language I'd once known and somehow forgotten. I'm happy and terrified to have it back." Peter Rock, author of The Bewildered
About the Author
Kassten Alonso was born in Seattle, Washington in 1968. He graduated from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, and currently lives and works in Portland. He's been writing since he was five years old. Core is his first published novel.