Synopses & Reviews
"If fiction is a fabrication, then realistic fiction might simply be the best told lies", says author Ron Block. The title story of The Dirty Shame Hotel is loosely based on a man the author interviewed who ran "the most organized junk yard I have ever seen, "and who had constructed an elaborate theory of the universe based on the principle of suction. "The Gothenburg Marching Band" details the adventures of a high school band traveling through nearly vacant Great Plains towns. "Bonehead" gives us a glimpse into life inside a clown ministry. And "Zadoc Xenophone" is a fictional retelling of the life of the author's great-aunt who worked at a pioneer telephone company. Both fanciful and grim, the stories in The Dirty Shame Hotel twine together outlandish imagination and lived experience. Block says of his writing: "Imagination allows me to experience something necessary that is beyond my experience. My writing is composed of strands of outlandish imagination, whimsy if you will. Writing engenders a sympathetic imagination, which is redemptive, no matter how the story turns out".
A man witnesses the aftermath of animal slaughter while taking his daughter pumpkin-picking on a farm; two men plot the death of a Hank Williams wannabe; a lonely young man develops roundworm from exposure to old books - these are some of the stories in Ron Block's original and hilarious debut collection of stories. Block has a fierce range as a writer, the stories riding the spectrum from quiet poignancy to the bizarre and raucous. THE DIRTY SHAME HOTEL is a darkly comic, unflinching, and unsettling account of the lives of the disenfranchised. - Laurie Foos, author of EX UTERO. Ron Block is a writer with nerve and verve, a high wire artist whose stunning leaps of fancy balance us on the thin edge where the fantastic and the ordinary meet. - Lee Martin, author of THE LEAST YOU KNEED TO KNOW.
The title story of THE DIRTY SHAME HOTEL is loosely based on a man the author interviewed who ran "the most organized junk yard I have ever seen", and who had constructed an elaborate theory of the universe based on the principle of suction. Both fanciful and grim, the stories here twine together outlandish imagination and lived experience.
Quirky characters of the Great Plains.