Monday, January 2, 2012

Rock Star's Rainbow Named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best of 2011

Hooray! Click here for the full list.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rock Star's Rainbow: Reader's Guide/Book Club Questions For Discussion

Rock Star’s Rainbow
Reader’s Guide/Book Club Questions For Discussion

  1. What is the significance of the title? How does it relate to the overall theme of the novel?
  2. What are some of the possible interpretations of the frontispiece—Dürer's Melencolia I—and how does it serve as a symbol throughout the book?
  3. How does the preface reflect Kierkegaard’s Either/Or, and how is it reflected throughout the novel?
  4. What is the significance of the dates September 4, June 16, and other numbers in the book? What vistas do they open up?
  5. Some of the “lost” recordings of the Little Bang, mentioned in the preface, will soon be available on the web (please stay tuned--they'll be up within the next few weeks). How does hearing these lost demos add to the richness of the work’s experience?
  6. Our culture is obsessed with celebrity, and even more so with celebrity scandal. Why do you think this is? How is Rook in some ways a stereotypical celebrity, and how do his struggles with fame play out?
  7. This is in part a story of love and family––of Rook, Hula, and Boudicca. Discuss.
  8. Apparently, this book is the work of a renowned entertainment reporter who was thrown out of a plane over Los Angeles. How does the classic technique of the “found manuscript” contribute to this novel as a narrative device? Just who is Aitchkiss Killawathy?
  9. There is quite a collection of characters in the book––some major, some minor. Discuss some of your favorite personalities, and describe what they add to the work as a whole.
  10.  The quixotic adventure journeys from LA, to Amsterdam, to India, and back. Discuss the various settings of the novel and elaborate upon how they are important to the book’s structure.
  11. This novel is in part a pastiche, paying homage to elements of Don Quixote, Either/Or, Ulysses, Satyricon, Crime and Punishment, and other works. Explain the connections. Also, you might wish to read through the allusions page on the book’s website. How does understanding all the references help contribute to the enjoyment of the book?
  12. How do some of the links to physics (Heisenberg, quarks, fine-structure constant, etc.) impact the meaning of the book? How do they relate to the ongoing search for that elusive metaphorical rainbow?
  13. From the far-fetched plot to the bizarre characters, this work is in part a satire. What is it satirizing, and how effective is it in achieving its goal?
  14. Is the violence and sex contained in the book gratuitous, or is it a necessary part of the satire/pastiche?
  15. Using critical theory, view the novel through various lenses. How do they alter interpretation? (For those who prefer a pdf version of these questions, please visit here, and scroll down to the bottom of the page to download.)                                                                                                                                                   

Sunday, March 20, 2011

2010 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalists

Congratulations to Beverly Cleary, winner of the 2010 Robert Kirsch Award, Powell's Books, winner of the 2010 Innovator's Award.

The rest of the 2010 Los Angeles Times Book Prizes will be awarded April 29, 2011, in a ceremony at the Los Angeles Times building. Many great books and authors are in the running as finalists.

For more information, check out the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes page.

Stay tuned for more info about the upcoming LA Times Festival of Books 2011.

Joyce's Ulysses, Early New York Times Review from 1922

It's funny, how when Joyce's classic novel Ulysses first came out
in 1922, few people knew what to make of it. While they sensed
brilliance, they also felt frustration with this new form of art.

For instance, check out this early review from the New York Times.
The professor, Dr. Joseph Collins, clearly appreciates Joyce's genius, calling Ulysses "the most important contribution that has been made to fictional literature in the twentieth century."

At the same time, he laments at the work's abstruseness:

"...Moreover, he is determined to tell it in a new way. Not in straightforward, narrative fashion, with a certain sequentiality of idea, fact, occurrence, in sentence, phrase and paragraph that is comprehensible to a person of education and culture, but in parodies of classic prose and current slang, in perversions of sacred literature, in carefully metered prose with studied incoherence, in symbols so occult and mystic that only the initiated and profoundly versed can understand -- in short, by means of every trick and illusion that a master artificer, or even magician, can play with the English language..."

Well, despite the book's Delphic ambiguity, the professor turned out to be right. Ulysses did go down to become one of the best books of all time, at least according to this list from the Modern Library.

It makes one wonder about the artist's aesthetic, as Joyce explores in his first novel, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Should an artist follow a Kantian perspective, focusing on "art for art's sake" and disregarding all else (including $), except one's own Muse? And if the work is accomplished to the artist's wishes, is he "successful" in realizing his vision, regardless of outside understanding and recognition?

More musings later...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Good Reads

Rock Star's RainbowRock Star's Rainbow by Kevin Glavin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hello! I'm the author/editor (I must apologize for this posting--I'm not quite sure how else to link my goodreads profile to my novel). What did I think of the book? I loved it! It was so much fun to write; I hope you have as much fun reading it. If not, it helps make a good fire:)

I'm a bit late to this goodreads site, but I'm glad to have found it and gotten started.

For more info, feel free to check out my website:

Thanks so much and have a wonderful 2011!


Kevin Glavin

P.S. Please note that there are some technical issues with the Google eBooks version that are still in the process of being corrected (for some reason, their converted ePub omitted all apostrophes, quotations, accents, and umlauts). All other eBook and print versions work fine:)

View all my reviews

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

More on the Future of Publishing?

L.A. Times: Bob Stein wants to change how people think about the book; plans to start electronic publishing house