The Gimmick (Paperback)

Novelettes, stories, and sketches

By Vern Smith

Runamok Books, 9781733352604, 146pp.

Publication Date: March 1, 2020

List Price: 13.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


"Vern Smith is a phantasmatic presence hovering over hard luck debacles and muted urban theater, colloquy consisting of full-bodied gestures captured in the word, messy lives tangled at the root, twisting misshapen into bloom. He haunts the North American literary canon with a salt-of-the-earth journalist's ear for the unspoken and unspeakable. There is an uncanny violence to these selections, as if there before the fact, now willed into expression in lean, muscular, lockstep cadences that model with sobering, unsentimental reverence and radical, stethoscopic clarity the raging interiority of the North American animal/everyman/mammal. With preternatural stylistic range, Vern Smith renders the ineffable with documentary devotion. It is poetic realism with exacting, brutal command of the minimal. Nothing less than ink, pulp, and blood amalgamated with sinew and synapses." - Manuel Marrero, author of Not Yet