on July 4, 2011 :
Sometimes I feel that the best literary fiction is where nothing much happens and everybody feels deeply about it. Put another way, literary fiction is where all of the action is between the head and heart.
However one defines it, I aver emphatically that Austin Nights is the best work of literary fiction I have read in several years.
Michael Davidson, the author, relates through Michael Davidson, the hero, a view of the world that is unique, innocent, obsessive, without cynicism and tragicomic. He does it with prose that makes you stop and re-read, not for meaning but for the simple pleasure of it.
This novel, where nothing much happens, will have a profound emotional effect on you. I feel guilty paying only .99 for it.
And this is Exhibit A in the failure of traditional publishing to spot genius.
(reviewed 28 days after purchase)