Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Village Voice: Now THAT'S More Like It

Publicist Amy just alerted me to a review of WHTTWOT in The Village Voice, New York City's great Pulitzer-Prize-winning alternative weekly. Reviewer Richard Gehr wrote:

Having published an autobiographic novel about his mother – 2005's moving Mom's Cancer – Brian Fies now delivers an equally nuanced tale about fathers and sons. Beginning with the 1939 New York World's Fair (which brought us General Motors' superhighway-pimping Futurama exhibit) and ending with the final Apollo space mission in 1975, Fies juxtaposes an evolving parent-child relationship – as filtered through our complex cultural feelings about science and technology – with marvelous faux-pulp, Benday-dotted renditions of four decades' worth of "Space Age Adventures," featuring Commander Cap Crater and the Cosmic Kid. Fies neatly nails each era's look – from Siegel & Shuster to Buscema – and the Cosmic Kid's departure from Cap Crater's orbit is no less moving than the son's inevitable independence from his father in a hopelessly optimistic moon-age daydream.

He got it. That feels good.


Sherwood Harrington said...

Wonderful. And in a journalistic icon of my yout', no less. Now you've got me hoping that Rolling Stone* will review WHTTWOT, too -- and wishing the Berkeley Barb were still around for a trifecta.

*Actually, it was a review in RS that first drew my attention to the work of Timothy Ferris, long, long before he hooked up with Sagan, Inc. (and lost his wife, Annie, thereto.) I remember standing in line at a Berkeley Co-op food store and noticing that the most recent issue of RS had a photo of a globular cluster on the cover and suddenly fearing that I might not be completely, well, pharmacologically pristine yet.

sligo said...

Brian Fies - changing the world, one reviewer at a time.

i am loving this. it really is gracious of you to share, in pretty close to real time, the full arc of WHTTWOT with your bolg followers.

Brian Fies said...

Sherwood: I know--just the title "Village Voice" resonates somewhere in my proto-hippy bones (sorry, I was too young to be a real hippy).

Timothy Ferris is a great writer. It's interesting, you and I may have discussed this before . . . I grew up worshipping Carl Sagan, but every real astronomer I've ever met seems to think he was an enormous a-hole with few redeeming qualities. The kindest comment I got from any of them (maybe you?) was, "Well, he was very good at what he did." Like a lot of things, Sagan worship is something I've had to reassess as an adult. Still love his books, though.

Sligo, the way I see it, it's gracious of y'all to keep showing up to read what I write. Thanks.

ronnie said...

I just wanted to echo what Sligo said. It's a bit like you're "live-blogging" the experience of having a book published and what happens next. (Much as you did with "Mom's Cancer".) It's a lot more interesting than you may realize :)