By Kirk Jones
A bleak and hilarious meditation on middle age and consumerism that follows a weirdness curve that can only be described as exponential. Things don't just get curiouser and curiouser, they go bat-shit crazy in a David Lynch kind of way.
middle age (mid?l-?j) n.
1. Spending one year’s disposable income on vinyl figures, only to realize a complete He-Man collection isn’t going to make your current life any better. Beast Man and Cyclops don’t give a fuck about you or your failing marriage.
2. Resolving to die empty and alone.
3. Death showing up at your office door in need of a vacation.
4. Designing goods for Death that inspire consumer-driven fatalities—faulty steering mechanisms, toxic dishwasher detergent inserts that look like jumbo fruit snacks—anything that will help tip people over the edge before Death has to pursue them.
5. Waking to find your house chock-full of the merchandise you created, merchandise designed to kill. Now everything from pouring your cereal to activating your car’s cigarette lighter has become a death trap. Yet as your world falls apart, no matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to fucking die.
About the Author
Kirk Jones on Points in Case – Kirk Jones (k3rk D?o?nz): 1. English Director of Nanny McPhee 2. “Sticky Fingaz,” rap artist and actor who played Blade for the television series 3. Canadian who survived a dive over Niagara Falls . . . only to return and pass upon his second attempt. 4. Boring white author of Uncle Sam's Carnival of Copulating Inanimals (Eraserhead Press, 2010), Journey to Abortosphere (Rooster Republic, 2014), and Die Empty (Atlatl, 2017) who often gets mistaken for the other, arguably more notable, Kirk Jones fellows. 5. Also not Kirk Byron Jones.
“The humor throughout Die Empty is extremely dry, and the narrative arc follows a weirdness curve that can only be described as exponential. Things don't just get curiouser and curiouser. They go bat-shit crazy in a David Lynch kind of way. Indeed, Jones's blending of the mundane and the bizarre gives Die Empty the feeling of a cross between a film like Blue Velvet and a George Saunders story.”
–Small Press Reviews
“‘You were born full of desire, void of understanding.' By middle age, you buy what you can to fill the emptiness that cannot be placated. Memories must be made into physical tokens so that you can own them, regardless of whether the recollections were true or imagined. You piece clues together into infinite patterns to determine the meaning of your existence. When you discover truth, you regret your search. Deals can be made and schemes can be marketed, but ultimately, this does not provide you with satisfaction. You yearn to reach the point where you are ‘full of understanding, void of desire.' Dying empty is the ultimate release. Brimming with pathos, humor, longing, and struggle, Die Empty is a book to be carefully read and appreciated, perhaps more than once.”
“Middle age…a time of change. A time to be tired of the routine and a time to feel hopeless as well? So you've got a cheating drunk wife, a materialistic schmuck of a neighbor, and a job that provides you with all that you need, and it all feels so empty. There is nothing to look forward to and nothing that really brings any satisfaction. How about a contract with Death? Will you design products that help in killing humans a bit more quickly? There are many potentially dangerous items out there that need just a little tweak. Will he help you in the quest for knowledge and closure with your estranged father in return? With Death’s arrival Die Empty gets weirder, there are more laughs to be had, it becomes great. Kirk Jones sardonically takes apart middle age and all of it's ups and downs in an addicting storyline. The mix of humor with all of the darker subject matter is a highlight. The second person narrative is handled without a single hiccup. The characters are all ones we know personally in some form. A book I could not put down. Recommended.”
“This book starts off as a bleak and hilarious meditation on middle age and consumerism. When Death shows up, wanting our unhappy hero to take a more active role in the business, things only get darker and funnier. Die Empty is written in the second person. Despite falling in love with the voice and the story within a few pages, I was worried the style wouldn't be sustainable through a whole novel. I'm not sure I've read a whole book in second person since the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure series. It turned out my fears were unfounded. Jones does an impeccable job, and the atypical narration becomes transparent very early on. I couldn't put this down.”
“Bleak and funny, Die Empty is Kirk Jones' take-no-prisoners examination of middle age in America. I had a hard time putting this one down!”
More Book Details
- Paperback: 178 pages
- Publisher: Atlatl Press (August 30, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1941918239
- ISBN-13: 978-1941918234
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 8 inches