Look for it sometime in spring of 2013.
It is, of course, a dark twisted comedy with nihilistic political overtones and the predictable flamboyant nod to the surrealistic and the absurd.
Just like my life.
If you are interested in an advance copy, just fly to Japan and help me finish writing it.
This not what actually happens during 2012. But what unfolds is not more implausible. Nor is it less implausible. It’s reality with healthy doses of hyper-reality and comedy, spawned by the tragic absurdity of our times. “12-12-12″ is dark, ironic, witty, at times surrealistic, sometimes just plain weird. One reviewer calls it “laugh-out-loud brain food for hungry minds.”
“12-12-12″ is now available in print and in every popular ebook format:
As an iBook from Apple . . . http://lnk.ms/bdlyY
As a paperback from Amazon . . . http://lnk.ms/c5wzz
As a paperback from the printer . . . http://lnk.ms/bWjKX
As a paperback from Barnes & Noble . . . http://lnk.ms/c5Dc9
As a Kindle ebook from Amazon (US) . . . http://lnk.ms/bMMYC
As a Kindle ebook from Amazon (UK) . . . http://lnk.ms/bMMbq
As a Nook Book from Barnes & Noble . . . http://lnk.ms/bxQWM
Every popular ebook format at Smashwords . . . http://lnk.ms/bWj82
As an ebook from Sony Reader Store . . . http://lnk.ms/cCrnq
As an EPUB ebook from Kobo . . . http://lnk.ms/c1CWm
Direct from my publisher . . . http://lnk.ms/bMMln
2012 was the year America played a game of chicken with destiny itself. Everyone like it or not was on board for the ride. The pedal was to the metal. People hung on for dear life and hoped for the best.
Everyone wanted to believe that those behind the wheel knew what they were doing. But even the most foolhardy gamblers weren’t making bets. They knew a single unwavering truth.
Destiny never blinks.
Twenty-three year old Noah Tass, like most ordinary Americans, was trying in the midst of all of the chaos, corruption and incompetence, to just live life — have his little piece of the pie and a few laughs along the way.
He thought he had conquered the main obstacle to his happiness by escaping his home town in the hayseed heartland of America, the little blackhead on the face of America where he had grown up and spent most of his life.
Little did he know that taking this simple step would send him tumbling into the vortex of events unfolding in an America that was broken and sure to make things worse by trying to fix itself.
Destiny never blinks.
But it does occasionally cut loose with a thunderous belly laugh.
Predictably, the reviewers are out of their cages and at it. Here is a random sampling.
“12-12-12 builds the case that America is in decline. It is more a work that stands as proof that the American literary arts are in decline.” – London-Manchester Raconteur
“11-11-11 was evidence enough that the author was unhinged. 12-12-12 is proof that the writings of John Rachel are dangerous. Enough is enough!” – St. Louis Literary Review
“It is hard to make a valid case in a free society for censorship. Having said that, this book should be banned and the author subjected to a lifetime of solitary confinement in a nation where torture is common practice.” – New England Journal of Aesthetics
“Why would the CIA allow this sort of vile, slanderous rubbish to continue to be available in America? It seems worth the price of a Predator Drone to keep John Rachel from subjecting us to any more of his insulting and subversive work masquerading as literary fiction.” – L.A. Contemporary Magazine of the Arts
“This what you get when psychosis is mistaken for creativity.” – Chicago Journal of Arts and Science
“The author lives overseas. That’s because if he ever steps foot in America again, he’ll be drawn, quartered and left for the flies to finish off on the Nat’l Mall.” – Miami Sentinel Post
“Kids of America: There’s a lesson in 12-12-12. This is your brain on meth, marijuana, glue and Godless television.” – Tennessee Televangelist Report
Those are the good reviews!
What can I say?
All I can suggest is to do the right thing. Don’t let people who know what they’re talking about discourage you from diving into this novel like you would a hot tub filled with your best friends and your favorite champagne. Strap on that snorkel, your goggles, and take the plunge.
If you have five minutes while you’re waiting for your eggs to boil, you can view a bogus, completely ridiculous promotional trailer for “12-12-12″ here , or by going to the dedicated 12-12-12 page and scrolling down to the embedded video.
11-11-11 was published in June 2011 and is available in print as a large-format paperback (it’s simply quite lovely, daaarling!) from Amazon . . . http://lnk.ms/QXVl5 and Barnes & Noble . . . http://lnk.ms/RzX3Y.
11-11-11 has also been added as an ebook to these sites.
As a Barnes & Noble Nook Book . . . http://lnk.ms/Py9Xg
At the Sony eReader Book site . . . http://lnk.ms/PPJhr
At Kobo as an EPUB ebook . . . http://bit.ly/WAnRCx
From the Apple iTunes store . . . http://lnk.ms/W42PK
From Amazon.com as a Kindle ebook . . . http://lnk.ms/M0D5m
From Smashwords in every popular ebook format . . . http://lnk.ms/MYjWm
As a large format paperback direct from the printer . . . http://lnk.ms/NKhg5
From the website of my publisher Melange Books out of beautiful, tropical Minneapolis, Minnesota . . . http://www.melange-books.com/authors/johnrachel/rachel11-11-11.html
11-11-11. It’s crazy. It’s weird. It’s real. It’s fun. It’s America.
Just a quick note to let everyone know that my first novel From Thailand With Love has arrived at Amazon as a Kindle ebook and moreover that a new much nicer formatting of the book is now available at Smashwords, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Sony, and Kobo.
As a Kindle ebook just go to . . . amzn.to/15qDnqh
From Smashwords in every popular ebook format . . . bit.ly/PNyuUg
From the Apple iTunes store . . . bit.ly/VoDIIa
As a Nook Book from Barnes & Noble: bit.ly/Vl1jV4
As an ebook from Sony: bit.ly/Sk2mUV
As an ebook from Kobo: bit.ly/QPRKvq
My second epic novel The Man Who Loved Too Much is unpublished. Highly knowledgeable literary agents and publishers have declared it too long. Maybe it should have been titled The Man Who Wrote Too Much. Interestingly, 18 short stories excerpted from this unpublishable tome have appeared in over 20 different magazines. One story, “Guerilla Warfare”, alone has been published in print three times. Here are some links to a few of the stories to give you a flavor for the irreverent tone of the book . . .
“Make Love Not War” – http://twinenterprises.com/the_fear_of_monkeys/issue_six/make_love_not_war.htm
“I Swallowed Elton John” – http://www.millionstories.net/ISwallowedEltonJohn.html
“The Tunnel of Love” – http://www.troubadour21.com/short-stories/johndrachel/the-tunnel-of-love/
“Apocalypso” – http://www.millionstories.net/JohnRachel.html
“Renoir Albertine Toulouse, Thumb Painter” – http://thedirtynapkin.com/issue/034/06/
In January of this year, I completed my most recent novel 12-12-12 while on Gili Trawangen Island in Indonesia. Here is a representative (or is that reprehensible?) excerpt culled from early in the book . . .
January 16 . . . MLK For Dummies
The politicians put on their game faces but they could feel it — the vibrations, the subsonic murmuring, the barely audible low resonant rumble that seemed to emanate from everywhere.
The rumbling from all the grumbling.
There was no escaping it.
Everything was broken.
Nothing was getting fixed.
Everyone was pissed.
The traditional end-of-the-year cluster of holidays provided a slight reprieve. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years. But frustration built quickly following the hollow cheers and generally anemic celebrations. Santa wasn’t very good to people this year. Unemployment actually went up in December when normally seasonal hiring gave a boost to the labor statistics. The lines at soup kitchens were getting longer and the soup looking more like dishwater each passing day. The entire population was on a hair-trigger.
Monday January 16th was a national holiday. Martin Luther King Day.
As unfathomable as it seemed, there were still people who didn’t know who Martin Luther King was. A truck driver interviewed in Arkansas by a CNN reporter replied, “Oh yeah, him. The fight guy who used to manage Mike Tyson. The guy with with the tall hair.” That was Don King, dimwad.
Others had heard of him but weren’t quite sure what his place was in history or why there was a holiday. A coed at Bob Jones University wrote an article for the school paper titled, “Why Martin Luther King Started the Luthern Church.” Ah! Martin Luther King was a 16th Century German monk. So America gave him his own national holiday. Got it.
Ignorance wasn’t bliss, however. Some strange and disturbing things happened this particular MLK holiday and the week that followed, which hinted at the vast cauldron of turbulence coming to a boil in the deep subconscious of the country.
The weekend before the official holiday, the American Dairy Association launched a massive advertising blitz, along the lines of hundreds of similar ones it had been running for several years. This one was called ‘Got MLK?’ It featured the most famous portrait photo of the great civil rights leader Photoshopped with a white mustache of fresh milk on Dr. King’s upper lip. This remarkable work of advertising genius — a public relations faux pas of cosmic proportions guaranteed to end the careers of the pitbull ad team that created it — was everywhere. Billboards, internet ads, television spots, magazines and newspapers.
The right wing went nuts. It was bad enough having Beyonce or Shaquille O’Neal staring back at you in these obnoxious ads with the milk mustache, but to have to look at a proven commie, pinko turncoat like that Martin Luther King SOB, a rabble-rousing enemy of good patriotic Americans, having those big lips grin that know-it-all shit-eating grin while making it look like he’d be drinking anything other than cheap wine or sterno, was an outrage. Everybody knew all these negro types were lactose intolerant anyway. What a pile of lefty propaganda! What a total pile of shit!
Fox News led the harangue practically non-stop, then of course the other media outlets not to be left out followed suit. Soon the fever pitch of hysterical commentary boiled like a crock pot which had been welded to a stove which couldn’t be turned off. A never-ending stream of self-righteous acrimony and disdainful disbelief bubbled over and spewed out of suit-and-tie talking heads and bouffanted bubble brains. Got MLK? was a total field day for the freaks of the far right.
The left wing also went nuts. A non-stop harangue condemning the virulent racism and umbridled bigotry of the right, thundered away on MSNBC and raged on over hundreds of progressive internet web sites, in a media counteroffensive, which took left wing whining and opining to new heights of pre-menstrual hysteria. Latte-sipping liberals quietly indignant that the image of such a great man had been so crudely desecrated and that commercial exploitation had stooped to such crass levels could barely be heard. They pouted and bought a nice bottle 1989 Portofino to anesthetize their bleeding hearts.
But it was the African-American community, especially those living in urban ghettos which had been the main beneficiary of just about everything that was going wrong in America, the beaten down who could only look forward to being beaten even more while they were down, who took the protests over the tasteless and offensive misappropriation of a great black man, to a whole new level.
From New Orleans to New York, Houston to Detroit, Philadelphia to San Francisco, Atlanta to Seattle, from the black ghettos of D.C. to the black ghettos of Los Angeles, and every place in between where African-Americans constituted a significant chunk of the population, the streets will filled with infuriated marchers. Some of the demonstrations were peaceful, many more resembling a street dance than a political uprising. The majority, however, rapidly evolved into all out insurrection, with piles of rubbish, automobiles and buses set ablaze. Windows were smashed, stores looted, and unpopular owners of local convenience stores dragged into the streets and beaten. Several ordinary citizens with rifles were observed standing on rooftops shooting at whatever passed in the streets below. In seven major cities, sundown to sunrise curfews were imposed and the National Guard called in to try to restore order.
One incident which occurred right on the National Mall in Washington D.C. dominated the news media for three days and truly polarized the nation. Tensions were higher than at any time since the riots in Los Angeles in 1992 over the police beating of Rodney King.
Two officers in a patrol car noticed suspicious activity occurring at the base of the Lincoln Memorial and on the statue itself. They called for backup and shortly five black adolescents, age 17 to 19 were arrested and taken in to be booked for defacement of public property. But not before they had completed the job they had come to do.
They had just painted a big mustache in white enamel house paint on Abraham Lincoln and hung a huge sign on the chest of the historic figure. It was what was on the sign that caused most of the controversy.
Yeah, he’s got milk…
All the milk he can drink.
That’s because he’s white.
Us niggas can’t afford it.
Local officials and politicos were so outraged that they demanded the young men be additionally charged with acts of terrorism, in violation of the Patriot Acts I and II. And because of unfounded rumors unleashed on the floor of the House of Representatives in a speech by a fanatic congressman from Mississippi, they were also being investigated for possible connections to blacklisted Muslim terrorist cells in Yemen and the Philippines.
Viewers of ABC’s This Week, one of the more popular Sunday morning news talk shows, sipped coffee and nodded their tacit approval over an exchange between George Will and the show’s host and regular anchor, Christian Amanpour, about the incident.
“I don’t know where they’re going with that. Meaning the Homeland Security people. Maybe they know something we don’t. But from what I can tell, these are just punks from right there in D.C. who took a break from pimping or pushing drugs or whatever other insidious things they’ve got going on, to disparage one of our greatest presidents.”
“I completely agree. I don’t get the symbolism here. It seems contradictory. I mean, Abraham Lincoln was the man who gave them their freedom.”
“Well, one of the more articulate gangbangers, one that could at least speak some English I could understand, said something to the effect that, yes, they should be free now but that’s not the way things have worked out. They are still being oppressed by the white man.”
“That’s gratitude for you.”
The follow-up ad campaign by the advertising agency that came up with the original idea was put on hold. It was called ‘MLK … does a body good!’ and featured Martin Luther King’s head Photoshopped on the body of Denzel Washington muscle-posing in a Speedo.