Arvin, Eric. “Subsurdity: Vignettes from Jasper Lane”, iUniverse, 2007.
There’s Something about Eric
I first came across Eric Arvin’s writing by chance. I had been looking for something new to read and while surfing the net one day, I came across Eric’s “The Rest is Illusion” and I wrote to him and asked him to send me a review copy which he did and I loved the book. I sent Eric my review and a friendship began between the two of us (a good review always brings friends –J). We have become email buddies and I have been trying to talk Eric into coming to the Arkansas Literary Festival (and I may have been convinced). Recently he wrote that he had a new novella out and he said he was sending me a copy and sure enough, he did. Like “The Rest is Illusion, his book kept me sitting and ready all afternoon and I was so sorry to close the pages. I felt as if I had made friends with the characters in his book and I was going to have to say goodbye. Eric is one of those new young talents who I think will go very far. We just have to help him be discovered.
“Subsurdity”, the new book is a pleasure to read. Made of stories that weave n and out of each other and are filled with great humor, we learn about Jasper Lane—a “perfect” neighborhood. We soon find out that “perfect” is not the exact way to define this little piece of “paradise”. Melinda Gold, a young mother in Jasper Lane does not agree with her mother about how she is being raised or about her desire to attain a position in the area. Melinda’s very conservative mother, Cassie Bloom, is also at odds with Melinda’s son, Patrick. Cassie thinks she rules Jasper Lane but she has secrets of her own. Her husband has been missing and Cassie knows something about his strange disappearance. Cassie’s son is also missing and many of the residents know little about him. One resident, Vera, a transsexual, however knows something. Then there is Rick, a new resident to Jasper Lane and he has fallen in love with an ex-Army man, James only James does not know. Rick also has a good friend named Terence, a homosexual, who suddenly discovers that he has progeny from a one night stand when he messed around in the heterosexual milieu. And there is yet another couple—Steve and Sandy who are having troubles and Steve is forced t find employment in the porn industry. Got it all?
This is the prefect summer read—it’s light, it’s fun and it will keep you reading. In fact, I have not had ths much fun in a long time. I am not going to give anything away or tell you anymore except that this book should be at the top of your must-read list. If you miss it, you will miss a lot and will have no one to blame but yourself. (And as an added bonus, you get a picture of the good looking hunk who wrote the book on the back cover—something that dreams are made of).