In this rueful tale, written under a simple but pervasive formal constraint, Olympic gold medal winner Ken Honochick and his girlfriend take a cross-country road trip to revisit his brief moment of triumph and his subsequent long haul on the promotions circuit. The result is a smart, flirtatious tour-de-force that’s as funny as it is inventive. Under all the comic gusto and technical virtuosity, however, there’s also some penetrating thought on our country’s obsession with private foibles and public image, individual achievement and the pressure to cash in on it.”A scientist whose experiments are consistently successful acquires the status of genius, and this is the proper status of experimental writer Doug Nufer.” – Harry Mathews “Negativeland is an elegantly constructed novel that peers into the void – masked by plenty of razzle-dazzle – at the heart of contemporary American life. The prose crackles, and the dialogue is spare and sharp. This is a fine book on a society in virtually invisible decline.” – Gilbert Sorrentino “Doug Nufer is the pop-punk heir to the great Oulipo tradition of constraint writing. His work is, therefore, brainy, babbly, wry, and more fun than a crossword puzzle at a linguists’ convention.” – Rebecca Brown, author of Gifts of the Body “The trick with any ‘novel of constraint’ is to make it read as naturally as possible. In Negativeland, Doug Nufer writes under one hell of a self-imposed semantic limit (note the book’s title) and uses it as an excuse to revel in all the back-to-front possibilities of the American vernacular, not to mention the back-to-front possibilities of storytelling. Negativeland is an intricate, multi-layered masterpiece by a writer who’s a true original.” – Michael Upchurch, author of Passive Intruder
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