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Literature

Not Your Average Hump Day

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The highly anticipated book by first time novelist Jason Hefter has hit the nearest book store or mobile device near you.  In its earliest incarnation, this story was pitched as a screenplay.  Like the work of many young writers, it dived in and out of hands throughout New York, Hollywood and then found its way back to the east coast.  As the writer became more sophisticated a novel was born. Today he presents us with Hump Day.

The cast of characters consists of average Joes who haven’t lived up to their potential.  They have jobs they don’t want.  They take solace in divey bars and fantasize about their next sexual encounter.  Their routines are less than desirable.  Disgruntled office worker to bar flies to drug addicts all the way to the unintelligent, they weave their way through a day that becomes less ordinary as these strangers cross paths.

So how do you make a cast of sad morally questionable characters into a story line you can’t put down?  Hefter not only succeeded, but did it to the point where this reviewer needed to read the story again to truly believe what she read.  Stiffling, “No he didn’t!” became impossible.  This novel could be renamed…” an unfortunate series of events connecting people with little to no redeeming qualities.”

Hefter appeals to those secret cob-webby recesses of the mind we all like to keep hidden from the public, regardless of how successful we are.  His characters are so verbally well illustrated they become neon caricatures of unbelievable proportion.  From the dumb to the sadistic to the just plain sad and unfortunate, their comic features and personalities weave seamlessly to create a story you can’t put down.

It instills the fear of being or becoming losers in an entertaining way.The author masterfully makes puzzle pieces out of the hours of a random Wednesday, to create a narrative in the style of some of my favorite movie directors. Like Christopher Nolan and Quentin Tarentino, a non-linear tale of unrelated characters whose destinies just happen to cross, unfolds on a random Wednesday.   It is a windy, hilarious, surprising and sometimes gag inducing story.    These characters, none of which you would want to run into in a dark alley, are contradictorily well-developed they keep the reader turning pages.  I personally found myself forcing a book mark into the crease to get a good night’s sleep.

Hefter had me at, “Nothing can adequately prepare us for the inevitable disappointment of becoming adults.”  These words hit a chord in my gut.  I knew I was in for something a bit dangerous and exactly what I was in the mood for.  A little dark tone never hurt anyone.

The fun doesn’t end when you finish the book.  If you look up the author on Twitter and Facebook, you also gain a fan.  He is an appreciative artist and reciprocates the attention he gets in the form of silly Hump Day nuggets of wisdom.  So not only do you get the honor of reading a funny/ dark novel of an up and comer, you also get to feel like you are part of a community.  Way to go, Mr. Hefter, it’s a good read and I can’t wait for the next one.

Literature

An Evening with David Sedaris at Fox Theatre April 16

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ATLANTA, GA (Feb. 24, 2015) – The Fox Theatre is pleased to present An Evening with David Sedaris, author of the previous bestsellers Naked, Me Talk Pretty One DayDress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, and regular National Public Radio contributor who will be appearing for one night only at the Fox Theatre on Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 7:30pm.

Celebrating the June 3, 2014 paperback release of his latest title, #1 New York Times Bestseller, Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, author David Sedaris comes to Atlanta for an evening of engaging recollections and featuring all-new readings.

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Literature

Dr. Mike’s “The Fallacy of the Calorie”

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Dr. Mike (Michael S. Fenster, MD) has a sense of humor in dispersing his dietary and nutritional advice in The Fallacy of the Calorie, but what’s also funny is the fact that this cardiologist is dishing out all this information while criticizing supposed self-proclaimed food experts.

Take this passage, for example: “These days it seems as if everybody has an opinion about food and health. People watch Dr. Oz, tune in to the Food Network, or read some anecdotal diatribe on the Internet and all of a sudden they’re full of expert opinions and analysis.”

Dr. Mike mentions only Dr. Oz by name. He then goes on to allude to a bunch of straw men who give consumers lots of conflicting food guidance before launching into his own enterprising book of culinary realness. Dr. Mike is in your face and sounds like a go-getter, I guess. He says if I’m happy with the food I eat and my state of wellness, health, verdure, heartiness is a-okay, then this is not the book for me. PUT THIS BOOK DOWN. If only!

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Art

SPX 2014 Programming Schedule

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SPX is fast approaching! Check out the release about this year’s panels and programming to plan your weekend. They all sound remarkable, highlighting diversity in the comics and cartooning industry that is often overlooked.

The Small Press Expo is pleased to announce the SPX 2014 Programming Schedule.  SPX continuing the festival’s established tradition of rich, thought-provoking programming featuring leading comics artists and critics in conversation. As in previous years, the Programming Schedule will feature two simultaneous tracks on both Saturday and Sunday, September 13th and 14th.

SPX 2014 programming highlights include special Q&A sessions with headline guests Lynda Barry, Jules Feiffer, Charles Burns, Raina Telgemeier, Drew Friedman. Eleanor Davis, Mimi Pond and John Porcellino, many of whom will also join in other panel discussions.

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