some things go noirish in the daylight

Every day this week I’ll be running a little giveaway at 1pm CST. I’m giving away Ash CinemaTwilight of the Wolves, and Noir: A Love Story.

Today I asked people to give me a reason why they needed to have my books, and I gave the winner all three.

So check in to my facebook page at 1pm every day to see what’s happening.

Noir: A Love Story comes out in just ten days and I’ll try to make something special every day.

So pay attention, because they won’t last long.

noir cover


In other news, Dennis Cooper read and loved my book! Honored and humbled and surprised. He talks about other books in there too, because he’s Dennis Coooper and he’s a groovy cat.

Also, some discussions of short film at Entropy:

Someone’s Gaze by Makoto Shinkai

Duet by Glen Keane

Premier Automne by Carlos De Carvalho & Aude Danset

ash cinema giveaway

Back from AWP with a lot of big news. Got accepted to the MFA at Boulder, sold a novel to a publisher [though this is a secret], and met and hungout with all kinds of awesome people who were much more interested in my writing than I ever would’ve guessed.

Anyrate, too much to post so I’ll keep it simple. I’m giving away copies of Ash Cinema and my graphic novel, the curious girl floating there. All you need to do is share the Ash Cinema page on your facebook wall to get Ash Cinema and then review it for a copy of the curious girl floating there.

Anyrate, giving about twenty or so away and over half are already claimed, so get on it!

I’ll post about other interesting things on a later date, including new stories, since I’m three stories behind at this moment and heading towards four.

Till then.

Also: the cover of the graphic novel:

Eddy Book cover full

but if i keep writing reviews

I’ll never get anything else done. Actually, I owe three more that I need to get done soon. Anycase, two went up at Word Riot the other day. Also, finally got back into the novel. 5,000 words today. Meant to get 10,000 but this is a good start and I’ll probably get another thousand or two down tonight, hopefully, and make up the rest over the next couple days.

But, yes, the reviews.

Monogamy Songs by Gregory Sherl:

Gregory Sherl’s Monogamy Songs is a memoir masquerading as novel masquerading as collection of prosepoems or perhaps it is none of those things or perhaps all of them but in reverse. Perhaps it is the first mixtape in his soon to be announced rap career or a mixtape he made from the collected scribblings of a lonely and broken heart meant for friends or new lovers about former lovers. It is a constantly surprising and confounding read, so distinct, even from itself, that there is really no proper way to categorise what it does or what Sherl attempts to do here.

My Pet Serial Killer by Michael J Seidlinger:

I am not a fan of serial killer fiction or even, really, transgressive literature. I find that they tend to be done more for shock and the grotesque than for any larger purpose, be it critical or satirical or academic. And so, though I was excited for Seidlinger’s new novel, I had serious reservations, reservations that he quickly shattered by subverting all expectations and invigorating a topic I thought best left to documentarians and forensic psychologists.

And then a few new reviews of my novel Ash Cinema have gone up at goodreads:

DB Cox

I’ve already remarked on this book elsewhere, so I’m not going into the story proper.

Once upon a time, writers were described in terms of their “vision.” “Vision” implied overtones more of purpose and truth, than technique or style. A writer with “vision” could sometimes break through the noise of the crowd—someone who knew why he or she wrote a particular story. I believe Ash Cinema fits this description.

The prose in this book is as beautiful as anything I’ve ever read (including Thomas Wolfe’s “Look Homeard Angel” and “Of Time and the River”). I believe Mr. Rathke is destined to be someone special—what some would call a writer’s writer. So he probably can’t look forward to making a lot of money in the “real world.” But maybe he’ll have a passionate cult following.

Here’s to old Edward J.

Pete Anderson

Ash Cinema tangentially addresses the life of the fictional avant-garde filmmaker Sebastian Falke, from three very different perspectives: an old man who once collaborated on Falke’s films; a woman who was formerly the platonic lover (lover, that is, in everything but the physical sense) of a writer who was obsessed with finding Falke and his long-lost films; and the teenage girl who was Falke’s lover at the very end of his life. Though (tangentially) about Falke, the book is really about grief, longing and trying to bring lost loves back across decades through writing about them. The book is haunting, obsessive, mournful and yet somehow triumphant, and eloquently and passionately written. A thoroughly impressive debut novel from a very talented young writer.

So, yes, very kind things being said about my little novel. Go pick it up at KUBOA Press or for free right here.

Also, music:

what’s the word

Only kind ones right now:

A variety of ghosts haunt the reader in Ash Cinema. Each of the three narrators has lost a love to death and led to reconnect with them through writing. Though they never know each other, all of their lives are somehow affected by the obscure, avant-garde filmmaker Sebastian Falke.

Rathke does an amazing job of bringing the reader into these lives that have been saved by love and shattered by its loss. And for a story that deals with such weighty themes, it’s not bogged down by romanticized depression and moping. We are shown the consequences of loving as deeply as they have, and we come to understand their loss. Rather than depressing, I found it to be a clever testimonial to the power of human connection and why it is one of our most profound human experiences.

The narration style fits the book so well, as it is often as ethereal as the ghosts in its pages. Each story is told in a first person narration that is more about a feeling than any particular image. As I read their stories, I felt like I was in that piece of the mind that narrates the events of our lives and creates a story to make sense of it. It was a really profound experience. More than being told a story, I felt like I was living in these parts of the narrators’ lives.

Ash Cinema does a great job of many things, but one of my favorite is its use of art and its effect upon people. More than just entertainment, art in Ash Cinema is a catalyst for action. People don’t just see the films of Sebastian Falke and go about living their lives. Even the rumor of his films’ existence is the impetus for a lifelong quest. Most everyone derides his work, but the power of his films echo through generations for a small number of people, and lives are brought together and broken apart because of them. That’s the power I feel the arts have in my life, and it was refreshing to see them have such an impact in the lives of these characters.

There’s not much to critique in this book. If anything, the first of the three stories is a bit slow and involves someone who spends a good deal of time alone, which lends itself to prose that is a bit indulgent to sensory feelings that didn’t add much to the story. But things pick up quickly, and before the end of the first story I was completely engrossed. The second and third stories are much stronger and even manage to make the first story stronger in retrospect.

It’s impossible to describe much of the plot of Ash Cinema without doing it injustice, so I won’t try. I will say that this was an engrossing story, and that it deeply affected me. I know when I look back at this book on my list of books that I read for 2012, I will be reminded of the strong impression it left on me well after finishing it.

–Paul Eckert.

where did the month go?

I’ve been inordinately busy, I suppose, reading submissions, reading books, having my lovely and loving girlfriend with me for a week, working the state fair nonstop. It’s been a very crazy month.

Oh, also, Skyrim.

The good Mlaz wrote a review of sorts on facebook:

Reading the masterpiece “Ash Cinema” by Edward J Rathke feels like jumping into the air and never landing on the ground again. The prose is poetic, painful and perfect. It’s all the words I never have when I need

 them. It’s confusing: it is when trying to fold a big map when someone before you folded it all wrong and messed up the folding lines, like a thousand pieces puzzle called “The Endless Grainfield.” Slowly you will see the pattern and get it done though. Rathke is the enigma Sebatian Falke in the end failed to be.
Sometimes people are kinder than they need be, but I appreciate it all the same. Also, if you’ve read it, write a review! And if you haven’t yet, check out what people are saying and then head over to KUBOA to buy it!
There are ads everywhere on the internet now and it’s annoying.
Till next time, which will hopefully be sooner than later. Time should open up again in about a week or so.

a new review

A new review of Ash Cinema is up at Goodreads by the great Simon West-Bulford! I’ll just let his words say what needs to be said.

I hovered over the 4 stars for this book.
I usually give 5 stars for books that I know I will go back to read time and again, but ‘Ash Cinema’ is something I felt would be diminished for me if read it again. I remember feeling similarly impressed by the movie ‘Brazil’ and vowing I would never watch that again either.

I gave Ash Cinema 5 stars because I do believe that what Rathke pulled off here is, as the rating system puts it, ‘amazing’. I’d like to think he worked incredibly hard to make the prose interesting and unique, but there’s a quality about it, a poetic flow that suggests it just oozed naturally out of him. And I think the nature of the subject matter demanded this: a significant part of it was the painful angst of lovers pouring out their need to reach each other across a vast gulf through letters. And if that idea seems ordinary to you, that’s because I haven’t explained the context, and I won’t, because I don’t believe in spoilers. Suffice to say there’s a mythic and timeless ebb to the relationships that showcases Rathke’s dreamy imagination perfectly. The barriers of death are meaningless in the world he has created. I absolutely love this kind of thing.

To me, this was a beautiful haunting told in perfectly chaotic prose.

ash cinema’s first review

by Nicholas Karpuk, from Goodreads:

Edward Rathke walks a tightrope through most of Ash Cinema. I kept waiting for the pacing to collapse, for the stylized writing style to become masturbatory rather than merely indulgent. It was a waveform that seemed perpetually about to collapse.

But it doesn’t.

That’s the damndest thing. He never goes overboard and for all its ambition and need to describe thoroughly abstract concepts it never wallows in any one notion long enough for me to lose my patience. Rathke explores some pretty big concepts, and in attitude almost seems like a tiny dog trying to bite a giant beach ball, and yet you can’t help admire the determination and effort. For a literary novel he does an excellent job of not boring me.

Maybe it’s because of my recent interest in blues artist Robert Johnson, but I can’t sympathize for the issues of all three protagonists, who all have a tie in some form or another to elusive experimental artist Sebastian Falke. Falke’s films as they are described sound like the most utterly squirm-inducing, watch-checking sort of movie experience, but the story really gives you a sense of why these characters are drawn to the work all the same.

It ends on a surprisingly complete note. Normally I just consider the end where the novel stops, so when I actually find myself satisfied at the close of a novel, it’s noteworthy. Mr. Rathke has created a complete work here, one which is well worth the time of any reader.

au revoir, america

Once again, leaving today.

Happy Easter, all.

I don’t know if I’ll be updating at all while I’m there, so I might not see any of you till June. I’ll try to get a post or two in every now and then but I make no promises. I may not have internet.

Be sure to grab the novel if you haven’t yet. Ash Cinema.

Also, updated my Publications page because, apparently, a lot of the links were broken. Stories disappeared and so on.

So it goes.

Till the next time, Star Child.

ash cinema today

Ash Cinema is out today! Super excited about that. Click the link on the cover art [which is super awesome, yeah?] or on the title.

Leaving for home tonight, a long drive with plenty to read and millions of distractions, and a beautiful girl who just won’t leave my head.

I hope you pick up a copy and enjoy it. If you enjoy it, share with a friend. If you enjoy it, write a review on goodreads. If you hate it, write a review on goodreads and tell your friends never to bother with such filth.