"HE DISMOUNTED at the dead end of the canyon, took a shovel and walked to a spot near a cottonwood and began to dig. When he was knee deep in the hole an arrow passed behind his head. He felt the air move and thought it a daring bird. The second arrow found its mark in his neck and the life seeped from him and he folded, inches from some letters and a lock of hair. Lou Beach began his writing career by updating his Facebook status, every day, with a new stand-alone story no more than 420 characters long. These narrative gems soon appeared on his website, and then arrived in the literary world. Alternately surreal, funny, ominous, and lyrical, 420 Characters offers an experience as dazzling as any in contemporary fiction, revealing worlds of meaning in single paragraphs. Beach's work has found admirers in Jonathan Lethem, Terry Gilliam, J. Robert Lennon, and others. The collection features original collages by the author, an acclaimed artist and illustrator"--
- Hardback | 176 pages
- 140 x 203 x 18.03mm | 335.66g
- 12 Dec 2011
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
- Boston, United States
- 10 full-colour pages
Within this collection of miniature stories, entire worlds take shape--some like our own, some hallucinatory fairylands--populated by heartsick cowboys, random criminals, lovers and drifters. In a dazzling narrative constellation, Beach's characters contend with the strange and terrible and beautiful in life, and no outcome is certain. Begun as a series of Facebook status updates, "420 Characters" marks a new turn in an acclaimed artist and illustrator's career, and features original collages by the author.
Back cover copy
LOU BEACH's illustrations have appeared in numerous publications including "Wired," "The New Yorker," "The New York Times Book Review," "Harper's," and "Time." He has designed album covers for Weather Report, the Neville Brothers, Blink 182, and many others. This is his first book of prose.
"Lou Beach uses words with no sympathy for the reader. He beats us senseless with his brilliance." (Terry Gilliam)"