|Click here to buy from Amazon.com|
"We were on a tour boat in Boston Harbor. A candy wrapper escaped from some kid's hand, scuttled our way across the deck. Russell pinned it with his boot, bent over, picked it up. A gust of wind snatched it from him, sent it out over the water. An old woman said: 'Shame on you, littering.' My brother's neck went red. He got that look that could clear a barroom in Quincy. He sighed, winked at me. 'Yes, ma'am,' he said."
Infused with atmospheric depth and populated with myriad characters, Beach's stories range from comedy to irony, tragedy and surreal montage:
"Shot by a monkey, Elsa leaned against the banyan, held a bandage to the wound. They'd entered camp just before dawn, made off with a pistol, some candy bars, and a Desmond Morris book. We counted as six shots rang out, one of them finding poor Elsa's arm. Relieved that the simian was out of ammunition, we packed up. On the way out of camp we noticed a monkey on the riverbank, hammering at a snake with the gun."
The handsome hardcover book is in and of itself a small treasure. Designed after a vintage volume in Beach's personal collection, the red cover is embossed with a gold leaf monogram, the stories printed on heavy paper and illustrated with surreal collages by Beach, also a well known artist and illustrator.
|Lou Beach, The Fall, collage|
|Lou Beach, World of Men C, collage|
Audio recordings of the stories by Beach's friends, actors Jeff Bridges, Ian McShane and musician Dave Alvin, are available on the book's website.
The book was chosen as one of Amazon Best Books of the Month, December 2011. In the following video, Beach is interviewed about 420 Characters for the series, Author Interviews @ amazon:
Don't hesitate to buy this book! Whether you read it all in one sitting or pick it up occasionally to savor a story or two, 420 Characters fires on all cylinders -- fine writing, fine art, beautiful design -- and will not disappoint.
Click here to buy 420 Characters from Amazon.com
Upcoming at Offramp Gallery
March 4 - April 15, 2012:
John M. White: Recent Works
Opening Reception: Sunday, March 4, 2-5pm
Sunday, March 25, 3pm:
Betty Ann Brown reading & book signing
from her new book, Afternoons with June: Stories of June Wayne’s Art & Life
May 6 - June 3, 2012:
Chuck Feesago: Retention
Opening Reception: Sunday, May 6, 2-5pm