Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Saturday on Coventry

At 7 p.m. this Saturday, I'll be at Mac's Backs on Coventry in Cleveland Heights talking about Better, my brother John's last posthumously published novel.

In a foreboding mansion that looms above the glittering lights of Los Angeles, a suave and wealthy host named Double Felix, a hooker named Zipper and narrator William weave their story amid plenty of booze, other housemates, and casual sex. But the story between the lines is all John's.

It only took me 15 years to figure that out, people.

It is absolutely stunning to me that the longer John is gone, the more I continue to learn about him. Better is an odd book, but it's rapidly becoming one of the most important pieces of John's work for me.

So come out to Coventry this Saturday. It's not only the perfect spot to spend a summer evening in Cleveland, you'll also get the inside story on one of this town's most legendary voices.


LimesNow said...

Both of you writers! What a gift. And how wonderful that he's left something behind that continues to allow you to interact with him.

Anonymous said...

If one were to engage in a chronological reading of John's work what would be the correct order?


Erin O'Brien said...


John wrote the short story "The Tik" in 1988. It's in the anthology "Las Vegas Noir" by Akashic.

Next was "Leaving Las Vegas," then "Better." He wrote "Stripper Lessons" after that during a mostly sober period. Last was "The Assault on Tony's," which was unfinished at the time of his death.

He also wrote a Rugrats episode called "Toys in the Attic" under the pen name Carroll Mine, which is also the name of the main character in "Stripper Lessons."

John's books are usually available in public libraries. If they're not at your local branch, as the librarian. Their ability to procure titles never ceases to amaze me.

All John's stuff is also available at Amazon or any bookstore can order them for you.

Thanks for asking RJ.

Earl Tesch said...

I hadn't seen "Leaving Las Vegas" since its release and I was discussing your brother with my wife the other day while channel surfing. Turned out that the film was scheduled to play in the middle of the night, so I scheduled it for a DVR'ing.

I'm looking forward to watching (though I ought to read the book), but I'm waiting until I'm emotionally ready.

It's strange to me how I've begun to feel a more personal connection to the film (and your brother) through my interaction with you, Erin.