Showing posts with label The Reasonable Ogre. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Reasonable Ogre. Show all posts

Friday, November 02, 2012

Manitoba Steps Up; Petersen Dives Under

See that guy? Right there? He's wondering
when his Spring 2013 catalogue will arrive.
Greetings and salutations, my friends. Three new morsels for the BiblioBlog: first, a delightful explication of Craig Boyko's Psychology and Other Stories from The Winnipeg Review; second, Manitoba's Canadian Materials has assessed Mike Barnes's The Reasonable Ogre, and its contribution to YA & teen lit; and third, Alice Petersen's native land has coughed up its first review (in The Landfall). 
So what exactly do they all say? For starters: "All the Voices Cry announces itself early on as something of a gift ... The authorial voice, far from being elusive, is sharply, poetically present."
"The Reasonable Ogre … is intellectually engaging and filled with haunting pieces of art that beautifully complement each story." 
"Bokyo’s insights and criticisms into psychology as a profession are biting, but never disrespectful … This shows Boyko’s control over subtlety and his talent as a writer of nuance. Psychology and Other Stories tickled my cynicism just right."
Anybody else have a cynical bone? Tee hee.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Largehearted Ogres

Afternoon, all, and happy Friday. Because nothing says Thanksgiving like lawyer-eating ogres (??), I thought I'd send you off to your long weekends with Mike Barnes's Reasonable Ogre playlist, which just went up on the Largehearted Boy site today. What's stimming? What's stemming? What songs can Mike Barnes listen to 80 times in a day and why? Find out here.

For those of you who haven't yet seen The Draught yet, issue 2 just went out yesterday, and you can take a little swig online. It's harvest-festival-themed. Enjoy your tofurkey stuffing, all: we hit the ground running on Tuesday with the Caboto Club Cookbook launch and we're in Office-Moving-Crazy-Land for the next week or two, but we're still going to keep you posted on all our happenings. Phone number remains the same. Should be in and nesting by the 15th.

Friday, July 06, 2012

The Vancouver Sun on Mike Barnes

"David Sedaris and Douglas Coupland have recently written wry modern takes on the fable," remarks Brett Josef Grubisic for the Vancouver Sun, "but with The Reasonable Ogre, Mike Barnes whirls together strands of vintage literary DNA — from Aesop, Poe, Perrault, [to] O. Henry ... — with his own light-and-dark sensibility. The result? An entertaining and alluring volume with appeal for adults and children alike."

Check out the Vancouver Sun this Saturday for the rest of the review, which also features Heather Birrell's Mad Hope.

Monday, June 18, 2012

On The Reasonable Ogre in the National Post (with apologies to Charlize Theron).

"To read a fairy tale," writes Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer as a special to the National Post, "is to enter a collective dream space. The stories have lost and accrued material. One must suspend a sense of authority at all — of narrative positioning, of who and why a story might have survived ... They entrance us with their superficiality."

With Snow White and the Huntsman grossing something like $56.2 million on its opening weekend (June 3rd), and with the film presently standing as the second-highest grossing movie at the foreign box office (surpassed only by Madacascar 3), Kathryn's point is hard to argue. Even the subverted fairy tale--once the exclusive terrain of pungently political fiction writers like Angela Carter--is now being co-opted by the mainstream. "Strongly influenced by a lot of smart, feminist thinking," says New York magazine of Snow White. (Because the heroine spends the film running from, instead of sleeping through, her stepmother's vanity-driven genocide campaign?) And here's the LA Times: "[the film is] an absolute wonder to watch and creates a warrior princess for the ages. But what this revisionist fairy tale does not give us is a passionate love - its kisses are as chaste as the snow is white."

It seems that the 2012 theatre-going public wants something like An Affair to Remember plus Xena. It's easy to dish up. Especially because--as Maria Tatar writes in The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen, and as Kuitenbrouwer cites in the Post--"fairy tales are invested above all in surfaces, in everything that glitters, dazzles and shines." In that respect there's no genre better suited to the silver screen. 

"Still," Tatar continues, "[fairy tales] give us the psychological depth, even when the characters are described only in terms of surfaces. … As the stereotypical plots of fairy tales churn with melodramatic fervor, they also sparkle with surface beauty. The result is something I will call ignition power — the ability to inspire our powers of imagination so that we begin to see scenes described by nothing more than words on the page.”

The point of all this, of course, being that Kuitenbrouwer thinks Mike Barnes's The Reasonable Ogre has ignition power and then some. "We do not live in reasonable times," she says, and Barnes "[uses] the comfort of the old stories — their cliché and predictability — to discuss ... climate change, war, economic ruin and moral laziness. The 12 stories that comprise this collection are marvellous in the truest sense. They are strange and dark, unpleasant and open-hearted, by which I mean my deepest compliments."

Check out the whole review in this weekend's Saturday Post, or online here. Beyond being a thoughtful look at Mike's work it's a nice intro to the nature of the modern fairy tale,  and features doffs of the cap to A. S. Byatt, Sara Maitland, Italo Calvino, Kate Bernheimer, Angela Carter, and Oscar Wilde. 

In other words? Dwarves, schwarves. Mike, you're in the company of giants. 

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

The Reasonable Ogre on (not under!) The Bridge

A few more tidbits from last week, which saw The Reasonable Ogre brought to life. To the right are some pictures from the book launch and art exhibit held at Type: you can also listen online to the interview that Mike gave to Bob Steele of CBC Windsor's The Bridge. It's a great introduction to Mike's approach to the genre of fairy tales.

Last but not least, Mike Barnes has a wonderful feature now up on Numero Cinq. It includes a write-up by Doug Glover, a full story with illustrations, links to audio recordings, and a pretty spiffy picture of Mike standing beside a corpulent brass backside in Trafalgar Square.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Reasonable Ogre Hits Windsor, Toronto

"ONCE there was an ogre who was like all other ogres except in one respect: he was reasonable. He could see more than one point of view, and he liked to argue and discuss. People seldom realized this, however, since he looked like any other ogre, huge and frightening, and he spent his time doing what every other ogre does: grabbing passersby and stuffing them in his mouth."

So begins the latest collection by Danuta Gleed-winning short story writer Mike Barnes. As you know, Biblioasis is launching The Reasonable Ogre tomorrow, April 24th, at Phog Lounge, and on Thursday--yes, Thursday, I said Thursday, I swear I meant Thursday all along--Mike and Segbingway have their Toronto launch at Type Books. We'd be delighted if you joined us.

(Once there was an Ogre-Publicist who lived at the crossroads just three brooks down and a valley west of the Bibliomanse. He wasn't very reasonable but he was full of ideas. He said when we have events we should just carry people in off the street: in fact, he offered to do it himself for a modest fee. But since Ogre Publicity has gone up in price--the industry standard's now fifty gold dubloons with unlimited snacking--we decided to go with Glinda instead, whose rates for enchanted emails are really quite affordable, and who has a strict policy against eating patrons on-site. She even throws in a free babysitting service for kids 12 and under.)

If you're in Windsor or Toronto this week, do come. Tuesday's billet includes Amanda Jernigan, Pat Lowther-shortlisted poet, and Claire Tacon, winner of the 2011 Metcalf-Rooke Award for fiction.  Thursday's event includes an exhibit of Segbingway's original brush paintings, which are, as you can imagine, absolutely fascinating up close. Fairy Tale Review founder Kate Bernheimer has called The Reasonable Ogre "a tribute to the power of story," and remarked that "the illustrations and language are so entwined as to be inseparable." Altogether? We're in for a couple of magical nights.

(Pudgy children especially welcome.)

Yours with a wiggle of the nose,
T. Murgatroyd,
Chief Witch & Master of Digital Wizarding,
The Bibliomanse.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Angel Quires

Afternoon, folks. April was kind to us over at Quill and Quire, with reviews coming out today for both Alice Petersen and Douglas Glover. Of Alice--who has her Montreal launch coming up at Atwater Library on May 7th--they say she "has produced a first collection of stories that, in its depth and quiet wisdom, is reminiscent of the work of another famous Canadian writer named Alice." All the Voices Cry they call "a beautiful tribute to human fragility and the inevitability of change." And of Doug Glover's Attack of the Copula Spiders they say quite simply:
Glover practises what he prays for in others. His own prose is clean and polished, thoughtful and intriguing, accessible yet serious .... erudite books such as Attack of the Copula Spiders are always useful as roadmaps for developing better readers and writers. Now if we could only get the world to read them carefully.

We couldn't agree more.

Don't forget, all you Toronto Bibliofans, that Alex Boyd's launch will start at the Dora Keogh in about 4 hours. Poesy and beer! And for those of you who already have the shakes for our next Toronto event, here's a little shot to steady the nerves. Courtesy of Open Book Toronto and featuring the marvellous Mike Barnes.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

New Fairy Tales Unearthed

The Guardian reports that 500 new fairy tales have been unearthed in Bavaria, including a new one that they have published online called The Turnip Princess.   A new collection of these tales, to be translated into english, is in process.

Fairy tales seem just about everywhere right now, which is a very good thing for us.  We're getting set to launch our own collection of new fairy tales in late April, from the rather magical pen of Mike Barnes.  The Reasonable Ogre: Tales for the Sick and Well, is going to be a stunning publication: not only does it include twelve fantastic new fables by Mike Barnes which stand up to anything being unearthed in Bavaria (or anywhere else), it's a fully illustrated collection, with 70 drawing from the equally magical pen of Segbingway (two of which are above).  We'll be launching it in Windsor April 24th, and at Type Books in Toronto April 26th, with more events to follow.  For those of you who wish an early peak please visit the book's website.

One of the leading names in the current fairy tale renaissance concurs that Mike's collection is remarkable.  Kate Bernheimer offered this endorsement earlier this week:

If you are looking for that once-upon-a-time feeling, to be captured inside an adventurous book, The Reasonable Ogre will satisfy you over and over. It is a marvel, and a tribute to the power of story. The illustrations and language are so entwined as to be inseparable, and they cast a beautiful spell. Mike Barnes is a real fairy-tale creature: that reasonable ogre you hope to meet, whose intentions are good. 

Books should be in shops everywhere in late April.  A chapbook of the title fable will be making its way to CNQ subscribers next week.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Introducing Mike Barnes's The Reasonable Ogre

One of the titles I'm most excited about this Spring is Mike Barnes's new collection The Reasonable Ogre: Tales for the Sick and Well.  Officially this is his third collection of short stories, following Aquarium and Contrary Angel.  But this is different for a range of reasons.  First, Mike has turned his pen to fables with this one, and has collected together  thirteen fables about the hard bargains, small plenties, luscious dregs and strange detours which make life worth living.  In many ways these fables serve as a fictional follow-up to his memoir The Lily Pond as much as anything else he has written.  It is also fabulously illustrated with more than sixty full page and vignette illustrations by Segbingway.  We're in the proofing stage now, and the book will not launch until late April, but it is such a wonderfully unique book I thought it would be worth giving Thirsty readers a bit of an advanced notice.

If you would like a sneak peak of some of what you'll get when we launch The Reasonable Ogre in a few months' time you can check out the new website we've launched to promote the book at www.reasonable  There you can see a selection of Segbingway's illustrations, read a sample from the title fable, or listen to Mike read the entirety of the same fable, and samples from a few others.

We'll keep you posted about Toronto and Southern-Ontario launches forthcoming in April/May.