November 15, 2012

Mini-review: "Code for Failure," by Ryan W. Bradley

(CCLaP publishes mini-reviews of both books and movies on a regular basis, none lasting more than a few hundred words. A full list of CCLaP's book-based mini-reviews can be found on its main book page, and movies on the main movie page.)

Code for Failure, by Ryan Bradley

Code for Failure
By Ryan W. Bradley
Black Coffee Press

I'm proud to count author Ryan Bradley, who's also the owner of Artistically Declined Press, as a friend of mine, which would make it an ethical conflict if I tried to pass off my review of his latest book, Code for Failure, as "objective;" I did however want to get a mention of it posted here online anyway, because this little book turned out to be really quite great, and I wanted to make sure it came to your attention as well. So consider my positive bias now announced! In reality a sneaky memoir of Bradley's time as a go-nowhere slacker at a small Oregon gas station, after leaving school but before taking up literature as a profession, it's designed as a series of one-page mini-stories about the weird and interesting experiences he had while there; but don't let these funny little anecdotes fool you, in that the manuscript added together paints a rather devastating emotional portrait of alienation, ennui and bad decisions, rife with the kinds of casual-sex disasters you would expect when sad small-town middle-aged women clumsily try to seduce beefy 22-year-old gas pumpers. Greater as a whole than as a sum of its parts, this fast-paced book affected me more profoundly than I was expecting it to, and I'm looking forward to the day that Bradley finally sits down and writes that masterpiece of a full novel that we all know he has in him. It comes strongly recommended today, despite my personal connection to the author.

Filed by Jason Pettus at 4:19 PM, November 15, 2012. Filed under: Literature | Literature:Fiction | Reviews |