Synopses & Reviews
Leaning with Intent to Fall is the first literary book to emerge from bike-punk subculture. Author Ethan Clark who has passed the time riding bikes, drinking too much, getting chased by dogs, living in abandoned buildings, parading in unsanctioned street festivals and breaking into historical monuments celebrates this culture, expressed in moments of perfect, beautiful chaos.
"Despite the title's suggestion of a life lived on the edge, this tepid series of disjointed, sometimes-amusing stories probably fare better in person, over a beer or three, than they do relegated to this slim volume. A noted New Orleans 'zine author and editor, Clark spins tales of irate fireworks customers, public drunkenness and cross-country hitchhiking fairly well, but falters when taking potshots at 'The Establishment' (SUVs, Wal-Mart) that never progress beyond familiar disaffected punk-rocker posturing. There are genuine laughs to be found, however, and Clark offers a rare look into the unique subculture of bike punks. Unfortunately, few stories achieve a climax; it's telling that the title-a fabled, trumped-up charge that NOPD once used to harass local punks-is explained thusly: 'If someone started telling a 'leaning with intent to fall' story, it was a signal for me to stop listening to anything they said.' Less patient readers might want to heed that advice; those immersed in the punk lifestyle, however, may find comfort and recognition in humdrum highlights like collecting copper wire for cash and surviving a 13-day-long summer storm." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Clark reminds me there's a brave new generation out there young people who are wise enough to turn their backs on prejudice, materialism and other deadly aspects of our culture; who still think it's important to see the world before settling into the life they've been told will make them happy." Susan Salter Reynolds, LA Times
"It's a trip through the outlaw sensibility sometimes comic, sometimes nightmarish, filled with vicarious thrills and chills." Susan Larson, [New Orleans] Times-Picyaune
"Ethan Clark is a punk rock treasure. His absorbing tales are wild and funny, told with deep honesty and sensitivity." Davy Rothbart, This American Life
"Leaning With Intent To Fall is a unique blend of engaging humor and thought-provoking social commentary....Clark has that elusive ability to turn the mundane into poetry, without ever sounding trite or obvious."
Joani Delezen, The Independent Weekly
"Ethan recounts a life on the fringes, filled with all the great punk pastimes: dodging cops, shoplifting, trespassing, drinking too much, and working crappy jobs that barely pay the rent on dilapidated houses filled with down-and-out roommates. But rather than succumbing to the jaded cynicism one might expect after an accumulation of years of discouraging predicaments and misadventure, Ethan somehow manages to find comedy in his precarious situations and retains a sense of optimism and hope in life's endless possibilities. Ethan puts it best himself when he says, 'Always look in the suitcase. Sure, it's probably just full of dead cats, but maybe, it'll be full of money and cocaine." Kyle Bravo, Editor of Making Stuff and Doing Things
About the Author
Ethan Clark was born in Mississippi on Sept. 22, 1980, two months before Reagan was elected president of the United States. During his childhood two films were made about the Klan within a mile of where he grew up. He got the hell out of there at age sixteen, pinball bounced around the country, then lived in New Orleans for about six years. He now spends his time in Asheville, NC. His writing and illustrations have appeared in Maximumrock'n'roll, Bike, Stories Care Forgot, The Zine Yearbook, Chainbreaker the Book (forthcoming), and Punk House: Anarchist Interiors by Abby Banks & edited by Thurston Moore.