Saturday, February 21, 2015

Fresh Ink: Spotlight on Debut Books of All Kinds
Hailed as "indelible" in Entertainment Weekly’s list of "20 Books We’ll Read in 2015", this gut-punch of a debut about love, grief, and family "unleashes one of the most comically arresting voices this side of Sam Lipsyte’s Homeland" (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

In Matt Sumell’s blazing first book, our hero Alby flails wildly against the world around him—he punches his sister (she deserved it), "unprotectos" broads (they deserved it and liked it), gets drunk and picks fights (all deserved), defends defenseless creatures both large and small, and spews insults at children, slow drivers, old ladies, and every single surviving member of his family. In each of these stories Alby distills the anguish, the terror, the humor, and the strange grace—or lack of—he experiences in the aftermath of his mother’s death. Swirling at the center of Alby’s rage is a grief so big, so profound, it might swallow him whole. As he drinks, screws, and jokes his way through his pain and heartache, Alby’s anger, his kindness, and his capacity for good bubble up when he (and we) least expect it. Sumell delivers "a naked rendering of a heart sorting through its broken pieces to survive.*"

Making Nice is a powerful, full-steam-ahead ride that will keep you laughing even as you try to catch your breath; a new classic about love, loss, and the fine line between grappling through grief and fighting for (and with) the only family you’ve got.

Punching Jackie
 Read "Punching Jackie" HERE.

“All Lateral” by Matt Sumell

Praise for the book: 
"Sumell’s shrapnel-sharp sense of humor is never more than a sentence away. By the time you’re finished, you’ll want more of Alby, which is good because his creator’s just getting started." ~GQ

"Indelible…an Everybro for the millennial set."~Entertainment Weekly

 "Unforgettable…The stories, narrated by the same character, Alby, about existing in the wake of his mother’s death are hilarious, wrenching, dirty, and heartbreaking all at once — I’m not entirely sure how Sumell pulls it off, but he does. Watch this book soar." ~Bustle’s 

"Sumell’s compulsively readable novel in stories introduces a restless underachiever as irresistible as he is detestable, surely one of the most morally, violently, socially complex personalities in recent literature…. Sumell’s debut is humbly macho, provoking outrage, pity, and finally tenderness. Perhaps this is a book readers will hate to love, but only because it feels, like Alby, all too real." ~Booklist

"From the first page, Sumell’s exceptional novel in stories unleashes one of the most comically arresting voices this side of Sam Lipsyte’s Homeland…Sumell’s debut demonstrates an almost painful compassion for the sinner in most of us, making Making Nice even more fun than eavesdropping in a confession booth."~Publishers Weekly

"A wickedly funny, deeply moving gut punch of a book."~Jess Walter, author of Beautiful Ruins

"Making Nice will grab you by the throat, raise your blood pressure, and cause you to crack up in a crowd. It will also break your heart. When they’re writing the history of the best characters of our time, Alby will be there, telling the others to get in line." ~Matthew Thomas, author of We Are Not Ourselves

"Sumell nails something about his generation which is feat enough, but beneath the funniness and swagger and freshness and raw energy is a sincerity that is rare and true. In that way in particular I find this to be a tremendously hopeful book." ~Aimee Bender, author of The Girl In the Flammable Skirt

"To say that Matt Sumell is an original voice is an immense understatement. Making Nice is ferocious and merciful, comic and heartbreaking. It will turn you inside out." ~Ramona Ausubel, author of No One is Here Except All of Us

Punching Jackie

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