Some tiny creature, mad with wrath,

Is coming nearer on the path.

--Edward Gorey

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. Outlying Islands

Writer, lawyer, cyclist, rock climber, wanderer of dark residential streets, friend.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Lunch Fare: DINGO

I don't know whether it's that nobody does it or simply that so few do it well, but one might have thought that the interweb would have inspired a renewal in novel serialization, whether for profit or merely for fun. And there have been a handful of examples. Stephen King, for example, started and then abandoned The Plant (after serializing The Green Mile in meatspace). Mark Danielewski's brilliant House of Leaves also, if I'm not mistaken, had established itself in fragments as an internet phenomenon before issuing in its extraordinary, full-color bound incarnation. And I'm sure there are others that have eluded my notice, just as I imagine there are sites out there that have restored the Surrealist game of chain poetry (the point of which I've never really discerned, though I suppose it was somewhat prescient with regard to theories of narrative that would preponderate in the second half of the twentieth century).

In any case, care of Kung Fu Monkey, I have discovered DINGO, a novel issuing in chapter-per-week serialization, which is as fun, well-executed, and worthy as any novel through its first three chapters(and neither heavy-handed nor pretentious, which is nice). It's not at all clear even what genre we're situating ourselves in, just yet, but the author has a history in indie comics (writing for Boom! Studios, for example), and the story, thus far, features a wire- and leather-clad dominatrix with a pet ferret she's not afraid to use, a sports car moving cross-country containing a mysterious box, and some sort of supernatural dog. So far, the easiest term to use would be page-turner, even if, given the medium, that's a bit of a misnomer.

To say more would deprive you of the pleasure I just found upon reading the first three chapters.

But I urge any of you looking for a ten-minute-per-week diversion to submit yourself to the hands of Mr. Nelson, who at least so far has manifested a great deal of skill for a well-executed cliffhanger, which I consider the sine qua non of holding my attention during the week-long interim between chapters. And I know I'll be back to check often.

I have also added DINGO to my blogroll under Words. And I'll probably remind you all whenever I myself remember to check it out and find a new chapter waiting.


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Anonymous binky said...

There was an experiemt recently, with Subcomandante Marcos co- writing with Paco Ignacio Taibo, serialized in La Jornada. They took turns with the chapters, not know what the other wrote, until it came out in it's serial form. Kind of interesting.

And for a silly "exquisite corpse" novel, I recommend Naked Came the Manatee. Dave Barry starts it, and Carl Hiaasen ends it, with various and sundry other Florida writers in between. How could you pass up a book with a cryogenically frozen head of Fidel Castro washing up on the beaches of Miami?

3:59 PM  

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