David Barker - Death at the Flea Circus from BoSP (2 Viewers)

The paperbacks (with letterpress printed dustjackets) are ready to ship and will go out on Monday. The hardcovers will ship later in the week. I have very few hardcovers left, so if you are on the fence, now is the time to let me know. Paperbacks are also selling well, but there are 200 of those (there are only 50 hardcovers.)

It really is an amazing novel.

It really is pretty good, in a 1960s tripped out naive college kid kind of way. Or I am delusional and Bill is infected with my madness.
OK. All the paperbacks shipped out the other day, except for those that bought hardcovers with their paperbacks (sorry PS.)

The good news is that the first 25 hardcovers, which covers everyone who has ordered and paid, will ship out on Friday, so you should see those on Monday if you are in the US, or later next week if you are outside the us (or in Albuquerque.)

Here is a look at how it stands now.

datfc hb stack.jpg

The hardcovers are to the right with spines on. The text blocks are to the left. The roll leaning up against the text blocks is the mull. You can also see the sig sheets, unglued spines, etc...

Oh snap! You hear that Albuquerque! FACE! <claw-shaped had slowly raking down my face>

I don't know about you folks, but I'm really looking forward to this one...
The mailman delivered the package and I am published! I keep remembering that wonderful, humble letter Bukowski wrote when he first saw copies of Flower, Fist and Bestial Wail, and I feel the same way. You've brought me the miracle, Bill. I think I owe you a kidney at least.

OK, I was a couple days later than expected, but all hardcovers went out today. They should start arriving later in the week. Paperback copies went out early last week.

I still have 15 hardcovers and about 100 paperbacks left (plus 2 "bureau edition" copies).

I got my hardcovers today. Extremely nice, Bill. I don't know how you do so much fine work so quickly. You must be hitting the energy drinks pretty hard.

The oil paintings for the bureau edition are coming along well. I should be able to start sending you completed paintings soon, a few at a time. I'm trying not to rush them, and at the same time not to overwork them. Sometimes the best thing I can do with a painting is to recognize that I can't make it any better than it is and to leave it alone.
This book is fantastic. My wife is reading the softcover and should be done tomorrow, so I'll have it for the weekend. Very interesting subject matter and approach and the production is great.
Thanks, ps. I've been anxiously awaiting feedback, and nervous as hell, wondering will people hate the book, like it, think it's just okay? I know all three are possible. Tell your wife not to judge me harshly. I was young and mindless, and the air was filled with strange smoke. I'm all grown up now and a decent citizen. I wouldn't harm a fly. The serial killer personae was pure fiction. Really...
I hadn't used oil paints in years and it took me a while to warm up to them again, but now I love using them. It's a much slower process than watercolors or acrylics, which is good if you aren't in a hurry, because it forces you to think about the next step, what you might do, what you should avoid, and the results are less muddy than many of my watercolors. I may just stick with oils for a while, after the 10 paintings for the Bureau Edition of Death at The Flea Circus are done.
I can't stand birds, but there is something about the parakeet painting that I really like, cant put my finger on it. What size are the paintings?
I just finished splicing the genes of Hines and Barker together (for Alligator Stew) and then what do you know, my landlady arrives with a treasure chest. She'd opened it thinking it was that Jesus Crochet kit she'd ordered, only to be confronted with three strange little books (Barker, Winans,and Creesh). Having a two year old daughter, I have of course hidden them under armed guard on top of my wardrobe, but give me 10 years and I'll feel safe to get them down and let you know what I think. They look great though. Too good for the likes of me. The workmanship has now confirmed that I will be calling my small press operation, 'Pig Ear Press'.
A laudanum bottle, from which the Victorian detective transferred the contents to an innocent looking chemical bottle:


The beach at Goleta.


Another Daffy Duck UFO frame:

If you're in the Salem, Oregon area, I'll be reading from and talking about Death At The Flea Circus tonight at 5:30 - 7:00, at Brigadoon Books (in the Reed Opera House, downtown). Well, I'll be reading regardless of where you happen to be, but if you're in the area, you might want to drop by. Or maybe you'd rather not. I'll be handing out free broadsides from the book, letter-pressed by our own Bill Roberts. Here's a link:

David & Bill, you guys really outdid yourselves. The book is gorgeous! I was out of town for a few weeks, and had the extreme pleasure of getting into the shop today and seeing it there on the shelf. Just a beautiful book -- can't wait to dig into it!
got mine today. just finished a book last night, so this is now on top of my pile.

looks very, very nice Bill. you worked your crazy artistic bookmaking mojo again.
Cool. Must be one of those automatic computer magic things.

James: many thanks for making the trip down for the reading. I enjoyed meeting you and talking, and the crowd was so thin, it made a huge difference having you there. Not that more people would have lessened the impact of your being there. You know what I mean...
More of the non-automatic, 'manually add this book' magic...so the folks there could find yet another glorious offering from Bottle of Smoke Press.
This book is why I love small presses, not to mention it will look spectacular on my bookshelf once I'm done reading it. Now its just a matter of keeping the book in perfect shape as I continue to read it, I may need to get a pair of those cotton gloves.
I considered that, Bill, the possibility that what I was ascribing to mindless machines was actually done by you slaving away in the night.

DirtyJersey13: as an author, I look forward to my books showing signs of wear, a few even being trashed looking after use. It would be a really bad sign if all copies survived in mint condition. Speaking of white gloves, I bought a few pairs cheap on eBay after I borrowed a set of manuscripts on the condition that I would always wear the gloves while examining them. I got like 6 pairs, brand new, for $5.
Due to some recent purchases of mine, I've had plenty of free time the past couple of days. I've been saving up for awhile to purchase a new car and sort of got sidetracked (Buk or Buick? That is the question). Well, I thought I had made the wiser choice but a certain girlfriend (who - whom? - I didn't consult prior to aforementioned choice) went Chernobyl on me and said some unpleasant things about my decision-making skills. Anyway, I was free to do as I pleased Sunday and read Death at the Flea Circus. And pleased I was. The chapters hit hard and fast creating a mad, frenetic mosaic. There's this sense of Lovecraftian-like dread that runs through the novel that makes the lighter, more comedic moments all the more disturbing.
Good stuff, Barker. Another stellar piece by BoS, also.
Thanks, Stavrogin. Glad it did not disappoint you. Funny you should mention Lovecraft. The only chapter where I think his influence is highly visible, stylistically, is the long one towards the end where the narrator is traveling through the jungle with the insurance salesmen towards the dark tower, and the scenes at the big house/tower. I discovered Lovecraft in the late 60s -- while I was writing Death At The Flea Circus. Much later, I wrote some overtly Lovecraftian short stories -- in the 80s and 90s, but I like the fact that his influence can be felt somewhat in this earlier work.

By the way, four small oil paintings are varnished and will be ready to ship in a couple days. These are for Bureau editions. Another is done but needs to dry more before I varnish it, and two others are partly done.

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