Wednesday, 12 September 2018

BOOK REVIEW: ABOUT A GIRL BY TONY NESCA



About A Girl is a blast beat fiction novella by Italian-Canadian writer and poet Tony Nesca and first published by his own publishing outfit, Screamin' Skull Press, back in 2014. The unnamed male protagonist and the titular "girl" meet at a bus stop on a cool Winnipeg winter day and spend a whirlwind twelve hours travelling around the city, from dive bar to dive bar, getting to know each other, as well as the menagerie of local characters that they meet and interact with along the way.

I had been waiting to read this book for years, without even knowing of its existence, and fell in love with it before even reading a word of it contents. Richard Linklater's Before Sunrise is one of my favourite films, and the synopsis of About A Girl instantly brought the premise of that film to mind. My excitement about reading it could have easily and very quickly led to disappointment, but thankfully the book lived up to the lofty heights I had built it up to in my mind. A punk rock Before Sunrise written by Kerouac. The stream of consciousness style of the prose is delightful, and even when it strays off on tangents, it always remains pertinent and firmly in the moment. Punctuation and other such distracting formalities are kept to a minimum, and the story flows along at the pace of the kind of days it is describing - the kind that are happily lost to a haze of cigarette smoke, booze, bars and good conversation.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of the beats, and outsider writing in general. An underground gem that I wish I could forget I had read just so that I could go back and experience it again for the first time. Buy one directly from the publisher right here or search for it on Amazon.

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