Friday, April 29, 2011

The Complete Works of Marvin K. Mooney, a novel, by Christopher Higgs

(2010, Sator Press)

Am I allowed to review a book that I haven’t finished reading yet?

It may be, as the author has elsewhere suggested--his examples being Mark Danielewski’s Only Revolutions or Ben Marcus’s Notable American Women--“too good to finish.” (Though, it should be noted, Marcus’s Notable American Women was good enough that I finished it, while his debut, The Age of Wire and String, was, for me, too good to finish. Either way, I understand the sentiment.)

I don’t plan on exalting The Complete Works of Marvin K. Mooney (named after this Marvin K. Mooney) to that status until, literally, I am paralyzed to finishing it.

Thus far though, I must tell you, it has the strength to render the positive wonderment of too-good paralysis.

Though, you don’t know that I haven’t finished it: I have.

At least I’ve been reading it since it arrived in my PO Box yesterday.

That long ago.

Synopsis: The Complete Works of Marvin K. Mooney is everything enough to be nothing and vice versa. It’s intensely ridiculous and ridiculously intelligent--like, ridiculously so.

In fact, it made me think of Steve Tomasula/Stephen Farrell’s Vas: An Opera in Flatland (maybe because I just barely finished Vas?). Not because the books are particularly similar--though they are both intensely smart and splintered into the most far-flung fragments of novelization--but because they make learning fun! As wonderfully corny as that sounds. While Vas is as much an in-depth unearthing of the history/politics of human genetics as it is story of a husband considering a vasectomy, The Complete Works of Marvin K. Mooney is as much a treatise on post-modernism as it is a whip-lashingly, grin-inducing, gut-punch of a novel.

Seriously, imagine me reading these novels with a wide smile on my face and a thought bubble overhead: I’m learning AND having fun! Because this literally happened.

Though, and I'll say it (Notre Dame having already passed interest on me), Higgs's work (and Mooney's, I suppose) is much more enjoyable in my taste.

A sampling of words I've learned so far, while reading Mooney:


(Like dinosaur names, right?)

Some words/phrases from Mooney that I already knew:

jigsaw puzzle

Anyway, I really like it.  And you would probably like it too, I think.  No, you would like it.  Period.

And, awesomely enough (I haven't seen it tried before in books), Sator Press is currently offering the gem using the pay-what-you-want model.  So, if anything, now is a perfect opportunity to put some dollar bills toward an awesome piece of literature.

Really, you haven't read anything like this before.

Bravo Mooney/Higgs/Sator Press!


BHodges said...

Thanks for the notification. just bought a print and digital copy. Hope your tip is a good one.

BHodges said...

Finished it. Liked it. Would read again from this seller, A+++++++++