A Greater Monster

A Greater Monster A psychedelic fairytale for the modern age A Greater Monster is the mind bending second novel by the author of the acclaimed Death by Zamboni This darkly poetic tale takes you on a trip into a radica

  • Title: A Greater Monster
  • Author: David David Katzman
  • ISBN: 9780983864400
  • Page: 403
  • Format: Paperback
  • A psychedelic fairytale for the modern age, A Greater Monster is the mind bending second novel by the author of the acclaimed Death by Zamboni This darkly poetic tale takes you on a trip into a radically twisted alternate reality that reflects civilization like a funhouse mirror Along the way, you ll encounter sphinxes, gods, living skeletons, witches, and quite possiblyA psychedelic fairytale for the modern age, A Greater Monster is the mind bending second novel by the author of the acclaimed Death by Zamboni This darkly poetic tale takes you on a trip into a radically twisted alternate reality that reflects civilization like a funhouse mirror Along the way, you ll encounter sphinxes, gods, living skeletons, witches, and quite possibly the strangest circus ever imagined Innovative and astonishing, A Greater Monster breathes new life into the possibilities of fiction.

    One thought on “A Greater Monster”

    1. basically, what i learned from this book is if you accept drugs from a homeless fellow, you will be subjected to a very long headache.everyone seems to have looooved this book more than i did. and it's not that it isn't a fun book or an enjoyable book, it really boils down to my values as a reader. i like story. it doesn't bother me if the story is multi-narrative or even fragmented, as long as i have a chance to situate myself. this one is just too frenetic for my poor reader-brain. it is strea [...]

    2. Having recently finished this book a few thousand miles ago, I’m just now finally getting around to writing my review, seated at my favorite Lebanon coffee shop.I sharpen up the stylus and procure a fresh slab of clay before approaching the counter, mumbling vaguely to the green-eyed, olive-skinned barista behind it, pretending as though we’re not about to spend the next 43 years together. Reaching through seven veils of silken scarves, she hands me a cup of something cool and gravity. I ret [...]

    3. A Greater Monster is not a novel as much as a state of mind. Reading it is like having a fantastic buzz. AGM is as clear as a window to the soul, and as confusing as brain mapping. It’s right on and slightly off. Black and white and vivid colors. Funny. Pensive. Thought provoking. Radiant and dark. Like reading in a state of half-awake-ness, not reeeeally remembering every beautiful and crazy detail of what's happening, but knowing it’s something strangely important. It's the simple confusio [...]

    4. A Greater Monster is an audacious, ambitious antinovel that takes the form (at a guess) of a continuous hallucinatory trip through the depths of the imagination. The unities of time are doused with fourteen pints of lexical petroleum. Linearity, plot logic and coherence are torched on the bonfire in favour of language that uses typographical innovation to mimic the helter-skelter loopiness of the unconscious. Language doesn’t escape the sousing—here, wordplay is permitted a little pas de deu [...]

    5. I hate this book, but that is a good thing.*There’s no denying David David Katzman (DDK) is a talented writer. He’s no hack. He’s no dilettante fucking around because he thinks he has a good idea that “just needs to be published.” He’s the real deal. A writer’s writer. A writer with teeth and muscle. A writer with the ability to incite. And that’s what he did to me with A Greater Monster.He incited rage and loathing, but that is a good thing.He was a Cathead playing with me like [...]

    6. 1/3/12 Was listed as the number one book of "10 Hot Chicago Reads For Chilly Nights" on Refinery29: refinery29/new-books 12/31/12 Was named a top 10 book of 2012 on The Common Ills blog. According to the post:" Beth championed it near weekly in her column for the gina and krista round-robin. It is a jigsaw of writing and you find yourself falling down the rabbit hole. 'A book to ponder and to read for the sheer life on the page,' Beth observed.12/7/12 A flattering review appeared in The Chicagoi [...]

    7. One of the most beautiful independently produced novels I've ever seen -- the cover, the layout, the dozens of black pages showing white-lined stick figures in a sort of simultaneously graceful yet hectic dance maybe? Text spirals, the letter "I" grows and grows to fill the page, there's handwritten text, on and on. Did you like House of Leaves"? Are you a fan of Blake Butler's Three Hundred Million? If so, keep reading. What are your expectations when it comes to novels? Do you like characteriz [...]

    8. I was recently at the Strand Bookstore in NYC where a pile of this handsome novel was prominently displayed at the front under the category "Mind Expanding Reads." And I thought, yep, that's it exactly. It's rare these days that a book's prose wrenches my mind into unexpected shapes, but A GREATER MONSTER is configured to do exactly that. The tome is a marvel of design, from the morphing flow of how the paragraphs and sentences are arrayed on the page to the shifting and fading fonts to the exte [...]

    9. I'm a big fan of David David's work. I loved Death by Zamboni and thought it was hilarious. This book is completely different and incredibly creative. I blurbed A Greater Monster, writing “Beautiful mystic-schizo DayGlo wordage. Poetic prose that befuddles, enchants and amuses the reader at the same time.” I think I also wrote something about being like Naked Lunch, minus the sharp odor of penetrated rectums. But, David David cut that part out of the blurb, claiming that the whole "penetrate [...]

    10. The day I started reading A Greater Monster was the day I also entered the beginning stages of a three-day fever, slipping in and out of a halfsleep delirium. It was quite the conducive state of mind for experiencing this book, at least while I was conscious enough to hold it up to my eyes. Quickly jettisoning from an urban surface world, AGM delves deep into a bleak, nightmarish Bardo-like landscape populated with a wide and curious assortment of hyperspace demigods. Their actions toward the ce [...]

    11. I sit down to write the review of this book. The slightest bit of blackness on the cover slides off and turns into a black pill…hmmmm….I avoid eating it, but the book slowly grows legs—does its best Bill Cosby impression before turning into a city politician and attempting to steal my shoes. I didn’t know the book would try to do that. I would look at the warning label on the book, but the book is now off to other pursuits.The book is now my deadbeat roommate—city politics is light on [...]

    12. Autographed gift copy kindly donated by GR friend Frances Winkler, with the connivance co-operation of the author, the inimitable David David Katzman, also a GR friend. This book is very difficult to encapsulate in a review. Probably I would have to know a whole lot about medico-philosophico-literary concepts ending in -ism or -opia, or maybe -osis, to do it justice. But here goes. If you are like me, there are some books you are tempted to buy just because of the cover. The cover on this baby i [...]

    13. A Greater Monster ReviewA Greater Monster comes at the reader phalanges sputtering and mandibles agape, ready to suck out your spinal marrow and replace it with saltwater taffy and gummy worms. This book will alter your molecular makeup, steal your car and get your cat pregnant before it skips town. All that being said, the second novel from Chicago author David David Katzman is not an easy read. It is not some enjoyable fluff you can knockout in three days reading on your lunch break or on a lo [...]

    14. Jesus Christ. The best way I can begin this book discussion is to dare every single one of you to buy the book and read it. I add the dare so that your pride forces you to get the book lest you seem the sort person who shies away from a challenge. I need you to feel your honor is at stake. However, it will be a dare you will be glad you took. A Greater Monster is a book you will need to read at least twice, and even then you will be able to pick it up a third, fourth and fifth time and right aro [...]

    15. What a long stange trip it's beenTo me, this one was more than just a book, it was an intense experience. This one read like prose poetry at it's finest. Full of word play, font experimentation,and even a few elements of bizarro thrown in for fun. You'll want to read this one slowly because if you don't, you could miss so much. I hope I'm not giving too much away when I say there are phrases within the book that link to websites that enhanced the reading of the book for me even more so than the [...]

    16. Greater Monster was a constant companion to the lonely nights when I found myself drinking too much wine and soaking in the bathtub trying to remember what the hell exactly I was supposed to be doing with my life. It's not an easy read, and reminded me often of the cut-up techniques employed by Burroughs and Kathy Acker. A man takes drugs from a shady person in an alleyway and his world dissolves into that of a dream, flitting from one scene and world to the next without much reason or context. [...]

    17. 2 words. bath salts. i don't ever plan to find out what it's like being on bath salts, but i would imagine it's not unlike reading A Greater Monster. at the risk of sounding pretentious, or even disingenuous, i won't bore you with a long-winded critique like i'm some reputable name in the literary world that my opinion should matter. that said, Davidx2 captures that WTF feeling without the prose falling apart into formless dissonance. at least, not unintentionally. it has its easter eggs, its qu [...]

    18. This was the weirdest and most creative book I have ever read. It is more than a book, more like a mind-altering substance. It started off "normal" enough, but that part of the book was very short-lived. Once the main character ingests the anonymous substance given to him by a homeless man, the insanity begins. There was a point in the book soon after in which I felt very lost. As it floated in a stream of consciousness style for the next 70 or so pages, it was very challenging to me. Once the s [...]

    19. Before starting this review, I hesitated to call it a "book review". Is this a book? An adventure? A trip? A completely new approach to what laymen call "use of the english language"? I was pulled in so quickly and completely that it took me quite a while to realize that I was reacting on a physical level, as if all of this mystification was overtaking my world, too. This book could have been a thrilling success even if it stopped at the insanely humorous wordplay. But it didn't--far from it. Th [...]

    20. I received a copy of "A Greater Monster" from the author who asked only for an "honest review". Trust me, as I was reading this book holding my head in both hands thinking it's going to explode any moment brains will be all over the nice clean carpetI first thought about having to clean it up then considered sending the author the cleaning bill. "Honest Review"Geez, Mr. Katzman!!! This book is unlike anything I've ever readd I mean this in a totally good way, fellow bibliophiles, this Katzman gu [...]

    21. Cross The Odyssey, Fear and Loathing in Leaving Las Vegas, Memento, run a Buddhist current through it and you have a pixel of David David Katzman’s A Greater Monster. Katzman begins his tale in dystopian Chicago where we meet ‘the guy.’ You know ‘the guy.’ He’s got the career, the money, the girls, the mojo, an insufferable sense of entitlement: yeah him. If you were ever curious to see how ‘the guy’ endures tortures of the damned, read A Greater Monsterat (Katzman) voices ‘the [...]

    22. Katzman takes the reader on a radical, murderous, colorful, brilliant, roller-coaster-of-a-fucking novel, which kept me moving and hoping, grieving and hurting, and loving the moments when I could drink from the well.I loved the poetry when Nameless was in the cistern, "surrounded by water, all around me cool water, the end is circular, the end, is circular, I will circulate, around and around and around I will go, I am bending stalks, I am falling leaves, my limbs unfurl, I am done writing, for [...]

    23. There are many different ways to look at A Greater Monster. There's the obvious analysis: a book about one man's transcendental journey brought about by the use of a psychoactive drug. The novel is certainly enjoyable at that level. To me, there's a lot more too it than that, though. The book is, in many ways, a Katabasis (a journey to the underworld). Early on in his journey, the protagonist meets Charon (who calls himself Ron), implying a descent into Hades. His descent, though, has more to do [...]

    24. The following can only be explained by reading AGM. TWO WORDS - literary performance art. DDK kicks ass and MAKES names, and monsters and wild images that invade your mind. Like a little Banksy dude sprayed in the corner of the mind. Permanent but ever changing. AGM dangles like a rotten apple ready to be squeezed, and eaten. Yuck and yum at the same time. Legally bakes the mind into the haze and smoky den of the possibilities of dancing words and parcours falling. Kinda wise and always weird. F [...]

    25. A GREATER MONSTER redefines the concept of the graphic prose novel.This story is a psychedelic journey with no limitations and infinite possibilities. David is a master of words and uses them not only to tell his story but to illustrate it as well.And speaking of illustrations, there is a transition in this book that is brilliantly put together. You can tell just by looking at these transforming illustrations just how much time and effort was put into all of it.To give away any serious plot deta [...]

    26. ** 2/16 ** just 50pgs into AGM & my brain is awash. Perhaps it's the beers, perhaps it's my wonderful but crazy little ones running around, but most likely it's the book! (Although the beers & my toddler boys accentuate the mood.) AGM is a dive off the deep end. So far very much digging the wordplay and adventurous spirit. Also love the first person, inner dialogue. At this point the pop-culture comparisons that immediately come to mind are 'American Psycho' mixed with 'Memento' (Reader [...]

    27. First ReadsWon a copy in the giveaway.4.5 stars. Definitely a psychedelic fairy tale chock full of spectacular imagery. David David Katzman takes you on an unbelievable ride in his novel. This is not an easy leisurely read for those interested. Be ready to think and dive into Katzman's alternate reality. Be warned that this book is probably not appropriate for immature readers as it does contain graphic language and profanity. With that said, Katzman has created a brilliant novel that has to be [...]

    28. Okay, so here's my official blurb:A Greater Monster offers pure sensory stimulation, verging on sensory overload. The graphics, concept and narration are pause-worthy, and they all combine to create literary indulgence at its best—it’s most interactive. The narrator in A Greater Monster doesn’t hold your hand and guide you; he doesn’t ask you to like him. Instead, he delivers a sharp uppercut to your chin and asks you to stop cowering, open your eyes and fight back. You will. He’ll mak [...]

    29. It seems to me appropriate to give an interim review to this book, which I find really strange, remarkable and challenging. The protagonist's easy life life/cushy job is interrupted when he makes the terrible mistake/great decision to swallow a chewy black pill that he gets from a homeless man/imagines, and which then casts him into either an extended hallucination or an alternate universe. (Some readers describe the world that the narrator lives in before he pops the pill as "post-apocalyptic", [...]

    30. I received this book through the GoodReads first-reads program.I've been having trouble figuring out what exactly to say about this book. It defies description, to a certain extent, as it is far more of an experience than it is an actual novel. Reading it you can fall into the words and let them entrance you, rouse up feelings of disgust, confusion, and wonder. It evokes emotions most powerfully, but the more I thought of what was contained within it the more confused I ultimately became. By the [...]

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