Erickson Eats Oranges, Or How To Really Like A Book


I’m a sucker for blurbs, I have to admit.

But then writers blurb their friends, right? It’s just the right thing to do, so maybe it doesn’t say that much about the book.  Yet I’m always looking to see what writers have praised what books and why. It’s borderline compulsive.

(Jonathan Lethem, I’ve decided, has probably blurbed the most books of any living writer.  And generally I think he is spot-on.)

But when a writer not only blurbs the book, but also writes a detailed and praise-worthy introduction to it and excerpts two of its chapters in his well-respected literary magazine, Black Clock, then it’s a safe bet that the writer really really really likes the book, so much so that the book he is praising, you can safely assume, is a true piece of art. That’s exactly what Steve Erickson did for the novel The Orange Eats Creeps by Grace Krilanovich, forthcoming from Two Dollar Radio.

Now, I’ve already ordered the book — in fact I bought the full Year 4 book subscription which seems like an easy win to me — based simply on the fact that Erickson is a terrific writer in a stupefying genre all his own and his words are not to be taken lightly. It’s also every writer’s dream to be published in the strange, boundary-pushing journal he edits, Black Clock.

Needless to say I’m looking forward to reading The Orange Eats Creeps — not only because of Erickson’s elegiac praise but also because the book is inspired by great rock bands of the Pacific Northwest, like the incredible Dead Moon, or  at least that’s what I read somewhere.

In the future though, instead of just mere blurbs, I’m going to find out what books my favorite authors have written the introductions to and then greedily hunt those books down.

Is this one more way I rationalize a textophiliac madness that makes it hard for me even to leave the house without a satchel sagging and grimacing with too many unread books?

Do I really need to bring the Dictionary of Obscure Etymology with me to the liquor store?

Michael Berger is a barely-published writer and book-seller living in San Francisco. He is one of the founding Corsairs of the Iron Garters Bike Club and is currently pursuing a degree in applied pataphysics. He sometimes eats oatmeal for dinner. More from this author →