Congratulations to Ben of Botany and Books on winning the giveaway of Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles by Ron Currie, Jr.! Thanks to everyone who entered and made this giveaway a huge success! Happy Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day weekend!
Archive for Ron Currie Jr.
I will be closing the entries for the giveaway of Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles by Ron Currie, Jr. at 1:00 pm MST on February 14th. The winner will be announced shortly thereafter. Please leave a comment on one of the two previous posts to enter before the cut off time.
Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles by Ron Currie, Jr. concerns Ron Currie, Jr., author of a book that sounds a lot like Everything Matters! by Ron Currie, Jr. His new book tells the Truth about the individuals who inspired the characters from his first book, including the author himself. While the two books essentially (and existentially) share the same starting point, they diverge drastically on the spectrum of speculative fiction. In Everything Matters! the imminent demise of life on earth underscores the importance of all that life entails, whereas in Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles the probability of the Singularity has the potential to prolong life indefinitely in another form.
Currie wrote it in another form, forgoing the standard chapter format for a series of interconnected vignettes strung together. His writing is innovative in subject, structure, and style. Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles is a wonderful interpolation of identity, which makes the unattributed reference to U2’s “The Fly” all the more apropos!
I read Everything Matters! prior to reading Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles, and, while it informed my reading, it isn’t necessary. In fact, it might be more interesting to read them in reverse order. It doesn’t matter which one you read first, as long as you read both books! I am hosting a giveaway for Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles, courtesy of Viking. If you would like to enter check out the previous post, Q&A with Ron Currie, Jr., and leave a comment.
Ron Currie Jr. is the author of God is Dead, winner of the New York Public Library Young Lions Award, and Everything Matters!, an Indie Next Pick in 2009. His new book Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles comes out next week. I had a chance to ask the author some questions about his writing, and I am pleased to present his answers:
Everything Matters! has an alternate ending, one of any number of possible variations. How did you determine which versions of the story to tell?
Well as you point out, the way I set the story up it could have had literally an infinite number of conclusions. Seeing as how I don’t have the stamina to write a never-ending book, though, I had to settle on one–or two, as it were. What made sense, given that I was going to write two endings, was for them to be pretty much the exact opposite of each other. So that’s what I did. Then, of course, in the second ending is the real payoff for the reader, I think, in which Junior finally understands all the very difficult lessons life has been hitting him over the head with, and makes use of that understanding. It had to be that way. Anything else would have been a deus ex machina.
Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles tells the Truth about the inspiration for the characters in Everything Matters!; what made you decide to revisit the characters’ backgrounds?
It wasn’t a decision so much as a compulsion. I wrote another, very different novel first, and it wasn’t working no matter how hard I tried to make it work, and I couldn’t figure out why. Once I hit on the idea of writing FLPM, and wrote the first few pages, I noticed a subtle but definitive shift in the feel of the writing, and I knew that I’d finally stumbled into the place where I needed to be.
Should the two books be considered variations on the same theme?
Once I was critiquing a short story by a very good, very wise writer friend of mine, and I chided her gently for returning over and over again to the same topics. True to both her intelligence and her gentle nature, she responded with a gentle admonition of her own, one that absolutely echoed with the truth: As writers, we all have our obsessive themes, is what she told me.
If you would like a chance to win a copy of Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles please leave a comment on this post. The winner will be selected one week from today.
This is Seeking a Friend for the End of the World done right. [Sorry, I just saw the film a few weeks back, so the comparison is inevitable.] Rather than learning the world will end in three weeks, Junior Thibodeaux learns of mankind’s demise in utero. An omniscient voice speaks to Junior (and is recorded throughout the book) informing him of the exact time the comet will strike the earth, wiping out life as he has yet to know it. The question is what to do with this information delivered in formation? Like young Siggy Martin in What About Bob?, you get the sense of a kid dressed in black who doesn’t want to learn to swim because we’re all going to die, so what does it matter?
I’m nearing the age Junior will be when he will be obliterated (36), and the nagging suspicion that nothing I do makes a difference has been cropping up, so this was a timely read for me (particularly with Currie’s new book, Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles, just around the corner). Everything Matters! has all of the off-kilter humor and none of the Keira Knightley. There is a romantic interest, but it’s one you can believe and want to succeed. This isn’t just seeking a friend for the end of the world; the voice instructs Junior to “Seek the meaning in sorrow and don’t ever ever turn away, not once, from here until the end.”
Ron Currie, Jr. is from Maine, as are the characters in this book. I spent a semester at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, but my experience there didn’t really resemble Junior’s. My greatest delight in reading this stirring book came when the love interest dropped a flatlanders (their term for anyone not from Maine) reference on returning home!