“GRIZZLY SEASON isn’t a novel about the drug trade. It is a novel about American drug paranoia. Magnus Ursus is a boogeyman hellbent on either indoctrinating young minds or destroying them with his new, demented, hypertoxic drug. He inspires the kind of terror that keeps concerned mothers up at night. He’s a cult leader, a slave-owner and a smut dealer all at once. How many times have I told you a novel can only be as great as its antagonist? Grizzly Season is another example. Magnus Ursus and the suspended, nightmare reality he seems to live in make the novel successful.” FULL REVIEW.
The nice people at Rare Bird Books bugged my phone during a private conversation with talented singer/songwriter/author, David Berkeley. And now they’re trying to claim that it’s a “podcast,” or whatever.
If you haven’t read Berkeley’s heartbreaking/uplifting collection of stories, THE FREE BRONTOSAURUS, you definitely should (it’s not a kids booooook, I promise). And make sure to check out the companion album, CARDBOARD BOAT. This dude’s got chops!
What: Founder of Rare Bird Lit, a company specializing in book marketing, promotions, and design for authors and publishers; and Rare Bird Books, a PGW-distributed independent publisher that releases thirty-five books per year on its various imprints. He was once the longtime marketing and publicity director of Book Soup bookstore back when it was the CBGBs of independent bookstores, and he has toured extensively around the world playing with hair metal musicians.
Where: Los Angeles
Interview conducted by email. Some questions and answers have been edited.
I swear this interview is going to be about you—but first I want to hear all about the Chuck Palahniuk vinyl audiobook that Rare Bird Books just put out. How did that project happen?
The Palahniuk vinyl audiobook is something that we’ve been extremely excited about. We had the idea of starting a vinyl audiobook line a few years ago and, until this initial release, have just been consumed with the practical elements of how we might roll vinyl audiobooks out. The most important component we’ve needed to take into consideration is simply how to fit an entire audiobook on so many pieces of vinyl. The first contractual vinyl agreement was for Jerry’s Stahl’s PERMANENT MIDNIGHT—unabridged, read by Jerry, featuring a full 11.5 hours worth of musical accompaniment by The Icarus Line. We did production on that last year, and it’s scheduled for release later this fall/winter. The Stahl project is the one that I originally mentioned to Palahniuk’s people (David Hyde at Superfan and Todd Doughty at Doubleday), which quickly evolved into the vinyl release of EXPEDITION, a 56-minute FIGHT CLUB prequel story read by Chuck with music by Rob Campanella of The Brian Jonestown Massacre. We’re working on others now for release next year and beyond.