Waxing Press

Book Review: Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Ian WissmanComment

Heller set the tone of post-WW2 ironic fiction, creating a roadmap that only became deeper and more expansive as many clamored to employ their inspiration after reading Catch-22. I don’t think the significance of this book can be overstated when it comes to postmodern fiction. Reading it is like finding the source material to your favorite works; a missing link. The lineage of literary ancestry.

Book Review: Lookout Cartridge by Joseph McElroy

book reviews, tastemakingIan WissmanComment

Lookout Cartridge by Joseph McElroy, like a cartridge itself, can only be deciphered for the screen behind our eyes once it has been inserted into our mechanistic, computer-brain to decode and process. The complexity and unique style of its prose, and how it "processes" layers of images will provide the reader with a steep challenge that rewards diligence with evocative scenes and a masterful use of language that mirrors cognition in ways before unimagined.

"Donald Trump, Rocket Man" by Tom LeClair

guest blogIan Wissman

In Pynchonian light, Kim is a rocket man but Trump is the rocket man on Viagra. In Gravity’s Rainbow, rockets are compared with towers such as the Tower of Babel, constructs of pride and greed. Trump is the builder of towers, those structures in the sky that have his name blazoned on them. Trump’s association of himself with his buildings as giant phalluses is no accident, for he identifies power in sexual terms. He is the male master whose wake is filled with subjugated women.

Book Review: Passing Off by Tom Leclair

book reviews, tastemakingIan WissmanComment

If you you're attracted to Greece and Athens, LeClair paints the life of the Greeks in a unique, non-Romanticized way that the West rarely sees, giving great insight into the culture and its tics. The book has prescience, too, into not only the Greek economic woes we've seen in the past decade, but the true threats of global warming, especially to a place like Greece so reliant on its booming tourism business--what happens when the beaches are gone?

Book Review: The Familiar, Volume 1: One Rainy Day in May by Mark Z. Danielewski

book reviews, tastemakingIan WissmanComment

The Familiar is a singular literary moment in the making that I am not so sure is getting the attention it deserves, so I’ll use my tiny little voice on this remote corner of the internet to profess to you its power. Before I speak directly about Volume 1: One Rainy Day in May, I’ll mention a bit about the series as a whole: I’ve said in other reviews of Vols. 3 & 4 (found on Goodreads) that The Familiar isn’t just a novel in serial, but the development of a whole mythology on par with the classics, codified in our unique 21st century world.