September 04, 2013
HTML GIANT calls The Era of Not Quite 'killer prose'
Douglas Watson stuns critics with his debut collection The Era of Not Quite (BOA, 2013).
In a rave HTML GIANT review, Tessa Mellas calls the book “absurdity, hilarity, heady contemplation, and killer prose,” which offers “deaths galore.”
“Deaths stack up, morbidity becoming its own joke as nihilism loops back on itself again and again.”
Like other reviewers before, HTML GIANT likens Watson to Beckett, Calvino, and this time, Barthelme as well, as he “adds his unique voice to postmodernism.”
“With playful experimentation and linguistic prowess, Watson mocks the conventions of fiction, making us wonder what stories really are for in this post-literate era when the masses can read but literacy fails to deliver us from unexceptional lives. Before you can lose hope, though, Watson shifts away from farce, showering us with moments of linguistic sublimity that remind us why fiction endures.”
Watson’s linguistics are described as “Cirque du Soleil for book nerds … while this collection certainly is writerly, it isn’t only for the insider club of MFA alums. Anyone who loves language will devour this book because linguistically, Watson does things with a sentence that are so subtle and masterful, you find yourself startled by their effects.”
The review closes with reasons The Era of Not Quite should be next on your reading list: “We don’t often hand out trophies for metafiction and humor, but shine your brassware, world. This debutante’s got stuff to say and the way he says it sparkles so loud you’ll erect a trophy soon for Douglas Watson-ness: the not-quite-cracked-or-lucid-rendering of life-ishness-in-fabulist-fashion Award.”