Daniel Clausen

Teoksen The Lexical Funk tekijä

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Includes the name: Daniel Clausen


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This review was written for LibraryThing Member Giveaways.
“The Lexical Funk” is a witty and creative collection of short stories by Daniel Clausen. Daniel does a marvelous job with his vivid imagination creating memorable characters and settings. I enjoyed reading each story in this collection. My favorite story was “Imitation for Beginners,” which dealt with the interaction between Androids and humans. It was hilarious as the Androids attempted to mimic human emotions. Other of my favorites were “Angela Killed Herself,” “Red Shoes,” and “Rich Jacobs Searches for the Meaning of Life.” Included at the end is an excerpt from Daniel’s novel, “The Ghosts of Nagasaki.”

I highly recommend this short collection of short stories by Daniel Clausen. I received a free copy of this book from the author Daniel Clausen for an honest review.
… (lisätietoja)
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dwcofer | 42 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Nov 4, 2021 |
From memories comes monsters from childhood, a dragon from misspent days and a girl in red shoes. With a stone for a heart and a host of friends, enemies and others to haunt him, this is a journey across time, through sea and over land to discover life, love and a brand new heart. .

The Ghosts Of Nagasaki recounts the past from memories real and re-imagined. When faced with returning to the scene of his youth, the memories and ghosts of the those he once knew invade his present, all in an effort to make sense of a life unlived and unfulfilled. A refreshing and entertaining story that is not to be read lightly.… (lisätietoja)
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LarissaBookGirl | 10 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Aug 2, 2021 |
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

This was originally posted on my blog, Melissa's Midnight Musings:

The first word I would use to describe this book would be confusing. It delves into the story right away, with very little background info. Which is good for setting a fast pace, but not so great for someone like me who enjoys the buildup of a backstory. At times I found myself not wanting to pick it back up again. But, once I did I was able to be pulled in enough to keep reading.

This is a stream of consciousness novel of sorts. Or maybe a novel with multiple streams of consciousness?

The book shifts perspective a lot, between the protagonists present day life as a business man in Tokyo, and his memories of his life four years ago when he first came to Japan to teach English. The story is also mixed in with what could be perceived by some as delusions or hallucinations. The story jumps can be unsettling, but they're also part of what draws you in in the first place.

I never really related to the main character on a personal level. There's not much told about him as a person, except that he is an orphan, who went through the foster care system and had it kind of rough. You actually don't even ever learn his name. I only knew it from an insert that the author sent along with the book.

My thought is that by not telling us his name and by telling the story from the first person perspective, the author might have been trying to make the story, as well as the pain the protagonist is running from more universal.

The story itself is somewhat dark, there's a lot of pain, and unresolved grief and a loss of his sense of self, on the part of the protagonist. It's likely why he attacts all of these ghosts, and other figments of his imagination, like Mr. Sparkles, a glittery dinosaur.

Mr. Sparkles actually made me laugh out loud. I thought of him as an alternate funnier, version of Mikey Welsh, the protagonists' roomate.

Along with ghosts and glittery dinosaurs, there are other added elements of magical realism in the book. The magical realism element is further solidified with the introduction of an island where one can go to procure and grow a brand new heart,fed by memories. This magical island seems to be some sort of limbo for the protagonist, between the current version of himself and the version of himself from 4 years ago.

There's a strange religious side to the story as well. One of the characters that Pierce attracts is a man who follows him around claiming that he's an apostate. In one scene the protagonist conjures up more of his ghosts who take this character and put him onto a cross in the middle of the ocean, and Pierce feels it his duty to rescue this man, against impossible odds. Then there's a secretive backstory that Pierce's first foster family were evangelicals, who were somehow horrible to him, and that the family who eventually adopt him are also particularly religious as well. I found the religious undertone confusing and at times disturbing.

The main message that I gathered from the story is that it's about a person who was trying to escape the pain of never having a place to really call home, and trying to recover from the death of the one person in life who seemed to truly understand him.

This story, while confusing, was told in an unusual and unique way.
… (lisätietoja)
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Melissalovesreading | 10 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Sep 30, 2018 |
Reflective collection of mostly short stories, with a couple of essays. The sense of place, and perspectives on that, are where this worked strongest for me. Recurring themes of relation to institutions persist - education and the military loom large. Individual moments of invention, but there’s a studied flatness which is self-conscious and constrained at times, which left me feeling there was a tone of how to write and exercise. The Ghosts of Nagasaki is an exceedingly enjoyable book which escapes this impression entirely, and I encourage anyone to read it and see what Clausen is capable of. This collection whilst it wrestles with the expectations, frustrations and wants thrown up in subject, simultaneously debates with form itself. If this is the point then fair enough, and I’m not against doing that but there’s just too much competency for me! I think this is maybe just a result of my taste not fitting, which surprised me as I’ve liked Clausen’s work in the past. In summary, a few standouts but overall interested rather than moved.… (lisätietoja)
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RebeccaGransden | Aug 1, 2017 |

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