Yearly Archives: 2011
This is the treatment for Solo Novo Facebook page readers who are following my blog entries there:
Blood is the story of Henry Mitchell, a mercenary who steals women’s underwear hoping he’ll get caught and lifted from the blood-filled crime-rich life he’s been leading. Imprisoned, Mitch uses his time to write his own story which begins as a cynical and misanthropic tale but, inspired by Genet’s Notre Dame des Fleurs, and The One-hundred and twenty days of Sodom he becomes enlightened and realizes that, on the outside as a soldier of fortune, he was killing the wrong people.
It is a story about a man who sees that there is no excuse for the human race but also sees that he’s been killing the wrong people. It’s a story about blood and semen and the inevitable destruction of the race. It’s a story about a man who is so pessimistic and misanthropic that he wants to see the human race eradicated. It is a story about a man who has the killer gene. It is a story about a man who kills because he’s told to kill until his eyes open and he understands that he’s a tool in the hands of his bosses. It’s a story about the evolution of writing from scratchings on stone to semen smears on concrete to writing on tissue paper to writing with pen and ink to writing on the typewriter to writing on the computer. It is a story about how memory is lost when the writing is done. It is a story about losing the past when we try to capture it. It is a story about a man who at last sees truth and makes a decision to go back into the river of blood. It is a story about love and death and blood. It is a story about a man who achieves sainthood but his god is the god of chaos and annihilation.
Deborah Allen, blogmaster at Writing While the Rice Boils has posted the first installment of an interview with me about my novels and my writing techniques. If you don’t know Deborah’s blog, you have to follow it. She brings a complete range of writers to the table, she shares techniques from all over the globe. She’s plugged into the writing world in a unique way. The details are here:
Jack’s Q and A on writing while the rice boils
On Wednesday, December 7th, Deborah Allen blogmaster of writingwhilethericeboils will run the first installment of a Q and A session with Jack Remick. Jack answers questions about writing practice, story structure, technique, and scene structure. Check it out at: http://writingwhilethericeboils.blogspot.com/
I grew up in California’s Central Valley. The Valley was huge but stifling. If you climbed the town water tower one foggy night and the cops hauled you down, it made the local newspaper–“Boys Saved From Fall and Likely Death”. Your one goal was a customized car with a flame job and flipper hubcaps. You wore Levis or Chinos and you cut your hair short. And then along came Jack Kerouac and On The Road. Right behind him came William Burroughs, Gregory Corso, Philip Lamantia, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and, of course, Allen Ginsberg. And everything changed overnight.
In the San Francisco Chronicle, Herb Caen wrote about these crazy people living in dens of iniquity in North Beach. He called them “Beatniks”. He took the term from Kerouac who used it to mean Beatitude, but Caen mixed it up with Sputnik and a whole generation was born.
And of course the craziness of the Beatniks was magnetic to boys hungry for Nirvana. Along with my other rebellious friends I headed to the City (on the West Coast, San Francisco is-The City), to see what was happening. We camped outside the Blackhawk and the Jazz Cellar. We lived for the weekends and City Lights Bookstore were we bought the Beat Bibles—On The Road, Junkman’s Obbligato, Howl . We ran up and down Grant and ate Chinese food in bombed out restaurants, we stayed in crazy wino hotels in the Mission District because the rooms were cheap and the inn-keeper didn’t mind half a dozen doped up teenage hunger artists sharing a room.
On The Road and the Beatniks set me free. Get out of the Valley, they said. Go find your America. And some of us did. Zooming back to the Valley stoned and giddy with wine and words, I knew I wanted to be a poet, be a writer, see the world. So I did.
This novel, The Deification, pays homage to those wild men whose vision of the world opened up the social revolution of the 1960s. They changed me. They changed you. They changed everything.
The publisher, Coffeetown Press is shooting for a release of The Deification to synch with the release of the film version of On The Road coming in December, 2011.
The Deification is the first book of The California Quartet. All four novels are slated to appear under the Coffeetown Press imprint. The Deification will arise on December 10th, 2011. You can buy the novel with a pre-publication order from Coffeetown Press or from Amazon.com. Here are the urls:
I just signed a multi-book contract with Coffeetown Press to bring out The California Quartet and Gabriela and the Widow. All five novels should be available by December 2012.
The first release will be The Deification. Sounds like the Rapture, but it’s the first book of The California Quartet. We’re looking at a December 1 release.
The Deification tells the story of Eddie Iturbi, a young car-thief obsessed with the dark magic of Beat culture in 21st Century San Francisco. Taking a trip to the hazy Underworld of poetry gods where rats eat the ones who fail, Eddie links up with living legend Leo who sees in him a disciple worthy of continuing the Beat tradition. But first, Eddie has to survive the Buzzard Cult where a mysterious mentor reveals the discipline of blood and words….
Gabriela and the Widow is the story of a 19 year old Mexican immigrant who takes care of a 92 year old widow in a mysterious and mythical California. Here’s the opening–
The year the war ended, Gabriela led her sick Mother out of Tepeñixtlahuaca. The bones of the villagers still had meat on them then and the hearths still had embers in them but the retreating soldiers had chased the skinny dogs away and burned the houses. Scattered in the jungle the bodies of young women—always the first to pay—lay left to rot. The young men all were either dead or had become soldiers and had, in their own time, committed atrocities…
Listen to an audio interview with Jack Remick on Blood. Interviewed by Matthew Robinson of BlogTalkRadio. June 23, 2011.
A written Q & A interview where Jack Remick and Joel Chafetz discuss Jack’s recently published novel, Blood. (Published by Camel Press, Seattle, WA. 2011) This insightful reading enhances understanding of Jack’s writing process and the complex storyline in Blood.
PDF File size: 243 kb
Amazon Star Rating: 5 out of 5
By Jack Remick
Camel Press, $17.95, 286 pages
This is a well-crafted, intense, and complex novel. The main character is disturbing and dangerous, yet intelligent, thoughtful and, in his own way, highly ethical. A seemingly unsympathetic psychopath on a voyage of self-discovery; he manages to touch upon the many vagaries of the human condition. A ruthless murderer who views himself as the angel of death, engaged in a touching and tender romance with his prison cellmate.
Hank Mitchell is a contract killer who has allowed himself to be imprisoned for stealing women’s underwear. “Mitch” views prison as a sanctuary from his former profession, and as penance for crimes far worse than the theft of panties. He is a man painfully aware of the darkness living inside of himself, his kin, and his fellow man. Hank tries to purge his demons by becoming a writer, giving a voice to the many he has killed. A word of caution: The storyline contains highly charged adult themes which will make some readers uncomfortable. The narrative includes graphic descriptions of rape, prison sex, and murder. But do not dismiss this as mere sensationalism. It is Hank Mitchell’s voice, and the novel would not be the same if these passages were deleted.
Be prepared for a wild ride as the author, Jack Remick, does not ease gently into the story. From the very first page, the reader is immediately swept up by the prose as if caught in a flash flood. Multilayered themes combine with Mitchell’s nightmarish delusions blurring into reality: corporate and individual corruption, biology versus destiny, environmental damage and human depravity, betrayal and deception. The narrative is rhythmic, almost hypnotic, with a cadence like a relentless drum beat or at times a turbulent raging river. All of this combines to result in one of the best books I’ve ever read.