By Corwin Ericson
(Dark Coast Press, Paperback, 9780984428847, 390pp.)
Publication Date: September 2011
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Reminiscent of Christopher Moore’s ‘Fluke’ and Neil Gaiman’s ‘American Gods,’ this slightly fantastical tale is told from the perspective of ever reluctant Orange Whippey, the story of his involvement in the comically unnecessary Whale Network unfolds as rival whaling factions, Korean smugglers/ultra tourists/storytellers, and a privacy advocating talking head all do their best to keep him from doing what he would ultimately prefer to do: Nothing. Set on the tiny, fictional island of Bismuth, it moves at a languid pace as Orange is dragged, far too often, to writhing lagoons, rusted ship hulks, hellish saunas, and private islands, creating a subtly farcical, always absurd setting for numerous misadventures.
Corwin Ericson lives in western Massachusetts where he works as an editor, professor, and writer. He is the author of the chapbook Checked Out OK (Factory Hollow Press, 2011), a collection of police reports. Swell is his first novel. More info can be found at www.swellthenovel.com.
A raucous roller-coaster ride . . . the writer deconstructs all things New England to hilarious effect. Ericson's tale reveals strong flavors of Tom Robbins, but there is also a splash of Douglas Adams in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Just sit back and enjoy the long strange trip. - Shelf Awareness
This delightfully loopy debut combines Down East deadpan with elements of Nordic mythology and Pynchonesque pyrotechnics. Ericson's Maine coastal setting lies at the edge of the surreal. - Publishers Weekly
Jaunty, playful, hilarious, and imminently readable, Swell is much more than an auspicious debut, it's that rarest of birds, a good old-fashioned reading pleasure. - Jonathan Evison, author of West of Here and All About Lulu
Orange himself reads like Pynchon’s Doc Sportello. Add a splash of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, too . . . A superbly crafted mixture of humor and observations of modern life, a combination of barely-noticeable detective fiction and magical realism, something uniquely its own and, in the end, a truly good read. Swell is a fantastic novel. - Line Zero