A Peculiar Arrangement of Atoms — Out NOW!

Click here to buy it.

50% of all proceeds generated from this ebook will be donated to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. apeculiararrangementofatomsdaultondickey

A couple discovers an alien-like element, a woman locked in a ward tries to grapple with her mind, an ex-junkie encounters a possible solution to her problems, two men—broke—just want to get drunk, and, in an infinite story, a man encounters a woman who may hold the key to life and the universe.

A Peculiar Arrangement of Atoms is a collection of sixteen moving, funny, and enlightening short stories written in a variety of styles. Individually, they explore human experience. Together, they represent a bleak yet hopeful, and at times comic, portrait of humanity and the human condition.

Part John Barth and William Gaddis, part Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace, part Kurt Vonnegut and William S. Burroughs, but in a voice all his own, Dickey has crafted a short story collection that will linger, that will haunt you, that will entertain and, most importantly, stick with you.

Review: Albina and the Dog-Men by Alejandro Jodorowsky

by
Daulton Dickey.

When writing about poet Arthur Rimbaud, Henry Miller asserted, and this is a paraphrase, that you can learn much about an author by the type of words they use, and the frequency with which they use them. If such a proposition holds true, then we can learn about Alejandro Jodorowsky by analyzing the words he uses through his short novel, Albina and the Dog-Men (Restless Books). Two words recur here, “transformation and metamorphosis,” and they sum up the theme of the book—as well as the trajectory of Jodorowsky’s eclectic career.Albina+and+the+Dog-Men,+by+Alejandro+Jodorowsky+-+9781632060549

A self-styled mystic and founder of a form of mysticism he dubbed Psychomagic, Jodorowsky is a modern day polymath: playwright and filmmaker, comic book writer and novelist, memoirist and Tarot expert. As his film career fizzled, he turned his attention to writing comic books, such as The Metabarons, a groundbreaking masterpiece of graphic fiction. In the latter part of his life, he’s devoted considerable time and effort on books, both fiction and non-fiction. He isn’t one person; instead, he’s an aggregate of many people residing in the body of one man. Each person transforms as they encounter different aspects of life.

And the same can be said of his characters. Throughout Albina and the Dog-Men, we encounter women and men whose bodies are vessels to many kinds of people, not simply a singular persona. Antagonists and protagonists receive the Jodorowsky treatment: in lieu of displaying fluctuating personalities, they undergo emotional and physical metamorphoses. An ugly woman becomes beautiful, a deformed man becomes a dog, then a handsome princely-type figure.

It’s hard to categorize this novel: a surreal Huckleberry Finn, an absurdist adventure story, a foundation myth rooted in magical realism, as most foundation myths are—all could apply to the novel. In a sense, Albina and the Dog-Men is a fable centered on the magical properties of human companionship. When Crabby, a hunchbacked and volatile bearded woman meets the mysterious Albina, a childlike woman whom she must teach to speak, her life expands outward, from the confines of her isolated town to a broader world populated with pygmy men, dog-men, and Godlike aliens.

After an incident in their small town forces Crabby and Albina to flee in search of a more inclusive haven, they meet Amado, a short man—not a dwarf; a pygmy—who embraces the perpetually shunned Crabby. Amado, smitten, allows them to run a surreal strip club out of his hat shop. But when they discover that Albina’s cursed with an ability to transform into a dog, and who transforms men into dogs, they flee Amado’s hometown in search of a cure.

We could keep summarizing the novel, but it would reveal too many spoilers, and, given the breadth of Jodorowsky’s imagination and the unexpected roads this story takes us, we’ll bracket summarizing Albina and the Dog-Men in its entirety.

originalIf you’re familiar with Jodorowsky’s works in other media, you’re aware of the scope of his knowledge and imagination, but if you’re a newcomer, then you’re in for a treat: without question, Alejandro Jodorowsky possesses one of the most—if not the most—fertile imagination of anyone you’re likely to encounter. He fires one amazing idea or image after the other, then bombards you with more, tossing them aside to replace them with greater or more outlandish concepts or imagery.

Surrealism has long been a staple of his oeuvre; in his films it sometimes jars you; in his comics it disrupts your notion of what the media could be; but here, it introduces fantastical elements to the story, which mimic the mood and temperament of a fable.

From chameleonic birds to a grotesque protagonist—aptly named Drumfoot after a disproportioned and grotesque appendage—to a lost South American tribe to an Incan God, Albina and the Dog-Men possesses elements that cement its status as a modern day fable, a story about love and acceptance, the transformative powers of companionship and belief in the fantastic. And, as with most fables, it leaves itself open to interpretation, but, most importantly, it dazzles and inspires you.

Albina and the Dog-Men
Alejandro Jodorowsky
Restless Books
RELEASE DATE: May 10, 2016
LIST PRICE: $15.99 USD (ebook: $14.99 USD)
ISBN-13: 978-1632060549
Visit the Restless Books page for Albina and the Dog-Men

 

 

 

Elegiac Machinations Available in eBook and Paperback

We’re having a baby in a month, so I thought I’d remind you about this.

Click here to purchase a copy!

“Like David Lynch, Daulton Dickey has found a language to articulate the obscenity of the unreal, itself the confluence of the perversion of capitalism and the seduction of technology and popular entertainment.” —BookCoverPreview Slavoj Žižek

Reality is a product of perception. To alter reality, we must alter our perception. But how? Our unnamed narrator explores this question and attempts to unravel the mystery in this experimental novella, a non-linear, surreal trip through consciousness—and beyond.

Embracing the street art mythos, the narrator plasters an unnamed city with symbols meant to open up awareness—awareness of consciousness, of reality; reality as it is, not how people perceive it. But he lives in a world in which corporations, government, and technology have transformed people into mindless automatons. People move without thinking, follow without thinking, work and live and dream without thinking—and they don’t realize they’re shackled in a continent-sized prison.

To change people, our narrator has to wake them up; he has to make them aware of their shackles. Can he use stencils and spray paint to wake them? Can art still thrive in a culture populated by drones? Part philosophical meditation, part surrealism and literary cubism, Elegiac Machinations is unlike anything you’ve read. It’s a haunting exploration of what it means to be alive, a meditation on the nature of reality and art, and on paying attention in a world dominated by routine and distractions.

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