Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Hank Early

Hank Early lives in central Alabama with his wife and two kids. He writes crime, watches too much basketball, and rarely sleeps. His new book, Echoes of the Fall, is his third Earl Marcus novel.

In a previous life, he published horror as John Mantooth.

Recently I asked Early about what he was reading. His reply:
I’ve got two books going at the moment, which is a new thing for me. In the past, I’ve been very much a one book at a time kind of guy, but over the last few years, I’ve discovered audiobooks on my long dayjob commute, and that means I have a book by my bed and one in my car.

In bed, I’ve been reading the hardback of Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. It’s an interesting book, that feels a little bit like reading a lurid true crime pulp from yesteryear. Odd comparison, right? Well, maybe not. The occult rituals in the novel have the same powerful pull on my imagination. They’re gross and scary and you feel a little… wrong reading about them, but at the same time you absolutely can’t look away. Beyond that, Bardugo is just a lovely writer who mixes strong world-building skills with an introspective prose that has me absolutely hooked.

In my car, I’ve started listening to The Topeka School by Ben Lerner. Lerner is a prose stylist and brilliant at describing mundane moments that somehow take on a supernatural, almost cosmic edge. The novel has already taught me a lot about trusting your reader enough to take chances and be daring. There are moments when I feel lost, but then I find myself again, and the story is somehow better for those brief periods of disassociation. It’s a powerful novel too, one that manages to address today’s fraught political and social environment even though the story is set in the 1990’s.. I imagine I’ll be seeking out the rest of Lerner’s books in short order.

And… as I type this, I just received the hardback of Ted Chiang’s short story collection, Exhalation, and couldn’t stop myself from opening it up and reading a snippet. It was as good as advertised, which means I’m probably about to become a three books at a time kind of guy. And now, I’m wondering what took me so long?
Visit Hank Early's website.

The Page 69 Test: Echoes of the Fall.

My Book, The Movie: Echoes of the Fall.

--Marshal Zeringue