When we read Matt Bell
's debut novel, our first thought was, Wow!
Our second thought was, Indiespensable
. Books like this are why we created a subscription club in the first place. We wanted a venue to promote those titles we would stake our reputation on but that might need a boost to reach the audience they deserved, hence the focus on independent presses, small print runs, and first-time authors. We'll concede that In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods
is not an easy book. It's certainly difficult to describe, though Lauren Groff (Arcadia
) came pretty close when she called it "a big, slinking, dangerous fairy tale, the kind with gleaming fangs and blood around the muzzle and a powerful heart you can hear thumping from miles away." But it is well worth the effort. Once you sink your teeth in, we're confident you'll love it as much as we did.
We also included in the package a signed paperback original of another title that took our breath away — Rebecca Lee's Bobcat and Other Stories. According to Ben Fountain (Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk), Lee "writes with the unflinching, cumulatively devastating precision of Chekhov and Munro." Lee's stories are so potent, her voice so assured, we're likely seeing a great writer at the beginning of a long career. You will not read a better story collection published this year. Period.