The Galaxy Club – Brendan Connell


THE GALAXY CLUB by Brendan Connell
Chômu Press (2014)
My previous real-time reviews of this publisher’s books are linked from HERE

Previous real-time review of a book by this author: The Life of Polycrates & Other Stories for Antiquated Children

The author also had three stories published a few years ago in various editions of ‘Nemonymous’.


12 thoughts on “The Galaxy Club – Brendan Connell

  1. Those Underground
    Alfonso Torcuato Southerland-Hevia y Miranda

    The first two sections of the book…
    I happen to be simultaneously real-time reviewing here ‘Finnegans Wake’ and that runs from riverrun to riverrun as I have discovered.
    The Connell language is only partially like that book, so don’t worry! It is engagingly disarming, though, with deliberate clumsinesses of style and I sense the shaky building-up a narrator character through the fuel fracking ground. A footstory, perhaps, rather than a backstory. Six feet tall.
    “We were here and he was there some river of black.”

  2. Cleopatra
    “…and a blue bandana over his forehead and some scanty whiskers on his face some astrologer probably never broke his back.”
    In hole of a town, no Heliopolis, nor a Cleo-patra but a patria crossed between holes abroad like in Greece or Egypt and in USA; our roaming male protagonist is surely in one of western USA’s holes, and this text tells a story about a fragile survival sometimes bent and skewed and medicined – and the text itself is like a ramshackle with feet in which the reader lives similarly, survives similarly. “But to do something like that you actually have to care remembering my father a long time walking by the house he kept walking by the house…” And, hence, this real-time review, full of holes, too. My holes. Holes bent and skewed together, like a beat beat beat poetry. Eventual holism, perhaps, from the holes? A gestalt against the odds. And like Finnegans Wake, that I finished reading and reviewing last night, “But it’s a damned incestuous world…”

  3. Blue Boy Montoya
    Ibbie Montoya

    “You’re an ugly fish and I’m going to bring you to Mom and Dad.”
    …for cooking, it seems. Back in time perhaps to some past, where pasts usually lurk. Do you see the dragon design on the front cover of the book above? Well, there is a smaller duplicate of that design on the back cover with the words ‘The Agony Column’ embedded in it; this the boy’s ‘Demon Taming Stick’? If so I need such a stick to tame the book itself before it escapes like another talking fish? And the people seem inbred if not incestuous where they live as ‘a dying town’, although I might have got the wrong end of that stick? And narrators possibly change and characters, too, words swapping with words, with dreams of who is dreaming whom, but all with feet eventually on the ground, I guess, and thus a bit finnegans-wake, still in a good way.

  4. L 5 Flower
    “…listening to my heart as it thundered my hands going up to the roots of the stars my feet to the emptiness of the earth…”
    A cosmic-mystic blend of the Finn(ish)(B)egan of James Joyce, the Long Poems of William Blake and perhaps the Valiant Razalia novels of Michael Wyndham Thomas (as soon as I saw Galaxy Club in the title, before starting the reading of this Connell book, I immediately thought of MWT’s The Mercury Annual) and other precursing forces – whence the narrator of narrators is born (or is he simultaneously all the narrators as one (male or female)?) born from the Exist-Not Exist of this book as an imaginarium stretched over various ‘synchronised shards of random truth and fiction’ formed as the veils and piques or peeks, vales and peaks, of this book’s sort of 1970s era (the period I infer from the book’s extra-mural sources like the back cover) featuring a road movie-set that stays put in one tough-love hard-living place in America while travelling cosmically at the same time within the single head as such or the single head formed from many heads.
    I guess that ‘birth’ may be of the nemonymous boy on the cover. But what do I know?
    Meanwhile, the deliberate or accidental stains on the back wall of that photo seem not to be a million miles from the dragon shape above the photo.
    L 5 Flower seems like some coordinate in a children’s game with numbered and lettered boxes, perhaps evolving into the mandala of a horoscope with the holistic natural-world harmonics disguised as Jungian synchronicities.
    “…this infinite gulf tearing and spreading me out slumbering in eternal visions and little by little felt the yearning sensed it some astrology…”

  5. Candelaria Griego
    Big Water Boss

    My prose poem entitled ‘Candelaria’ written about four years ago:
    Do raindrops have ghosts? it asks.
    “Mother has said I had to eat the flowers.”
    Do fish become dragons; here being cooked as if they were fish, a complaint from a narrator dragon. Do anthropomorphs have ghosts? There is much captivating about this book as I sense the narrative threads and those who extrude such threads. “I am not here just to water your lettuce!” Perhaps the pens in the nice man’s top pocket from the photo are to be lent to the various narrators. Or to one in particular, now old enough to write. With granddad having died. Each pen a taming stick to beat poetry out.
    …and when I told him it was better than ‘Howl!’ he had agreed with me…”

  6. Ramona Roybal
    Demon Taming Stick
    Prawn Dragon Colonel

    “– well the only poets I had known were the creek and the wind…”
    Sometimes you have to trust an author even when you feel you are subject to antagonistic anthropomorphism of not only the lizard dragons who are treated like caught fish by the boy and they’re trying to get their army together to get their own back not only on him but on us for reading about them in such a situation, but subject to the anthropomorphic taming-stick, too, with the anthropomorphic words themselves jumping off the page at me and pretending they mean things they couldn’t possibly mean by sane syntax or semantics. But I trust this freehold or head-lease author named on the light blue cover with dark blue letters, always have. But do I trust his sub-leased narrators or the blue boy that perhaps he once was?

  7. Matias Armijo
    Alfonso Torcuato Southerland-Hevia y Miranda

    “The hole was still there when we arrived. We laid it by the hole.”
    I am glad I limbered up, fortuitously, by having a straight run-through read here of ‘Finnegans Wake’ just before tackling this even more tantalisingly difficult work by Connell. Difficult, but so far satisfying. I am ineluctably gaining ground upon the galaxy of characters and their emerging gestalt, the odd drifter or two, the ‘dying town’ (according to the back cover: in New Mexico) and its ‘twin peaks’ captcha-captivation and its anthropomorphisms both inner and outer — a sense of inferred backstory that both the attractively vexed texture of text and the tactile-visual nature of the physical book itself are imparting (woe betide anyone who tries to appreciate this same text in an ebook format!) – a gestalt garnered, I suggest, by osmosis as well as by ratiocination on the reader’s part. Each word one of Cleopatra’s stigmata.
    Gratuitously picking just one single observation of mine among many, I noted the use of the expression where someone ‘lighted a cigarette’. This was more common in fiction up to the mid 20th century and perhaps a little later but in fiction these days I’d argue that one would expect ‘lit a cigarette’. Who’s the head-lease author now?

  8. admtoahhTheodore Montoya
    Elmer Roybal
    Gilbert Trujillo

    “My eyes were closed. She ran her hand through my hair put it under my chin a kind of benediction.”
    Yes, I’m getting there. I am really getting there. Great satisfaction as a reader is to beat an intractable book with one’s own taming-stick. “People have been falling down for years in our town. They used to send them from the Church, and they fell down.” I can actually see Cleopatra for myself now and dream of telling others to paint their house blue to defeat barren childlessness – and go mining for cough medicine – join the town club. This place is a hard sell, but I’m buying it. Pere Ubu.
    “…and I have tried lighting green candles and I left a cigarette for Our Lady…”

  9. Pingback: Real Time Review of The Galaxy Club | Oxygen

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