Literary Fiction.Existential, angst-riddent, agnostic,Asian-influenced philosophy/religion, ethnic/supraethnic, voterapathetic, sexual encountering, wanderings of a post-graduatephotographer still living in his quaint little college town inNorthern California. ... Read more
Customer Reviews (4)
An American Stranger
Maybe it's because I just got finished reading Camus' "Stranger", but this book seems a lot like it.It's told from the point of view of Dick and the narrative seems very existential,grounded right in the very moment, with only little concern for the future. Also, there is the 'tough-guy" style of narrative which Camusconfessed to using.Very truncated sentences.Very narrowed point of viewwhich results in a sense of isolation.It's ultra-modern because it seemsto go beyond issues of ethnicity, right down to the very basic necessitiesof all human life.The author goes out of the way to point out things likebreathable air, and water and food and shelter.It's a very short book andvery difficult to put down.Disturbing, fascinating and entertaining atthe same time.I don't know why I should say this but it gives meconfidence that there are actually other people out there who think.Isthe author coming out with anything else soon?
Artists live by different rules
Having been acquainted with the author now for some years, I have the sneaking suspicion that his intention in "Fun With..." was to shock us with the zeal of an emerging agnosticism, to render modern angst through theperspective of an intelligent yet simple character.If anything, Quiray ishonest.And this honesty comes through in the inescapable theme ofmulticulturalism.In a world of western freedoms tempered by puritanicalheritage, chaotic diversity is the rule.The final truth: Dick is brown,and Dick can't possibly know what this means.In conversation Quiray hasspoken often of dramatic scenarios, `writing styles' and other variousartistic devices (musical, visual, gastronomical)which transcend loyaltyto friends, family, ethnicity and country.I won't say that he has failedat such a burdensome task.On the contrary, I have spoken to a few mutualfriends who have read the book and they candidly reported that they weresomewhat repulsed by what they perceived as apparent misanthropy. Ajobless, appetite-driven photographer who takes pictures of roadkill?But,I would quickly append that Quiray also does a surprisingly decent job ofexposing a slew of complex philosophical, sociological and psychologicalmodern-day dilemmas armed only with one and two-syllable words in simpledeclarative sentences.And I believe the greatest thing about this book isthat, despite ourselves, we come to love this character although we knowvery little about him.Living his spartan-like, stark existence, Dick isus--without the commercial insulation each of us have erected aroundourselves.And despite the lonesome weariness he shoulders in his pursuitof transcendence, it is his desire for intimate spiritual connection withhis neighbor which captures our heart and preserves his dignity.Artistslive by different rules, and sometimes it is justified.If we're lucky,everybody benefits.
A story of maturing people seeing love for the first time.
Remembering my reading of Quiray's second novel from a distance of almost a year, I realize that "Fun With Dick and Jana" gives voice to the mutual attraction of two adult friends struggling to express theircomplex, and intense, affection in a dead-end world where that affection isthreatened by boredom and dis-ease about the future.Their lives unravelin a small college town filled with their own barely audibledisappointments and too many memories of growing through adolescence intotheir early 20s.Quiray's main character is a man of confused ambitions,mixed emotions and striking intelligence who works odd jobs to payconstantly truant bills while wandering into various confrontations withother nomadic souls.As these situations unravel, including a car crash, avariety of landlord avoidances, a wedding photography session, numerousthoughts on modern multi-culturalism and brushes with casual sexualcontact, "FWDJ" becomes more a character study of early adultstruggle than it is a love story, drama, adventure or moral tale, althoughit contains aspects of each.Instead "FWDJ" circles in thedifficulty of maintaining a forward course in life as it is set upon by thestriking need to "just grow up" and the simultaneous conflict ofnot knowing what growing up means.By novel's end, Quiray's lovers, andtheir ambiguous relationship with their small town, realize a tenuousbalance between happiness and sadness that fills them with hope for afuture that holds excitment and accomplishment as the carrot sticksprodding adult maturation."FWDJ" is a story of transition andcompanionship, and realizing that all futures begin with first stepsthrough who we have been into who we want to become.
Outstanding book about a teen coming of age.
Found the characters closely paralleled my own personal experiences. Somewhat of a coming of age story about Dick and friends trials with life, friends, parents, females, morals etc.Anyone who's ever been confusedabout life will appreciate the book and the message it offers.
... Read more