12 January 2018

Special Guest Interview with Adam Kluger Author of Desperate Times: Short Stories

New on Amazon UK and Amazon US

Desperate Times: Short Stories, is a compendium of previously published flash fiction and short stories by Adam Kluger, inspired by the works of Bukowski, Hemingway, Fante, Mamet, Salinger & Fitzgerald., Desperate Times is also an eye into the American culture. Published by Belphegor Editions, edited by Whiskey Down Press, Desperate Times was inspired by the likes of Bukowski and Hemingway, to name a few. 

Today I'm pleased to welcome author Adam Kluger:

Why did you choose Bukowski? 

There are a lot of reasons. The humor, the honesty, the accessibility. When you find a writer that speaks to you-- like music - you just really appreciate it. Bukowski deserves all the love he gets. His writing delivers. Post Office, Women, Love is a Dog From Hell, Barfly, Ham on Rye, Hollywood and pretty much every book he ever wrote-- I've read them all and will keep re-reading them. The prose, the poetry - so good. His film with Barbet Schroeder- The Bukowski Tapes is just amazing. I could watch it over and over. Bukowski revered and promoted John Fante, who was also a terrific writer. Bukowski, to his credit also had the courage to criticize many of the literary world's over-rated writers--as being pompous and unreadable --which was criticism that was frankly long overdue.

What about Hemingway?  

Same thing. Hemingway knew how to write beautiful, sparse prose and he delivered. I loved his Iceberg theory and his other theories on writing. The Old Man And The Sea is a classic but so too are most of his short stories like The Killers, A Well Lighted Place and The Three Day Blow.  I also really enjoyed his Green Hills of Africa. An important writer.


Catcher in The Rye. Masterpiece. Franny and Zooey also praise-worthy. And his Nine Stories. Salinger was a good short story writer. A Perfect Day for Bananafish was powerful and memorable.

F. Scott Fitzgerald? 

Love Fitzgerald. So good. So talented. Gatsby was brilliant but his short stories were also worthy of notice from Bernice Bobs Her Hair to a Diamond as Big as the Ritz to the hilarious Pat Hobby Stories. To become the voice of a generation means you're pretty good.

What is Guy Lit?

A label. People come up with labels.  Who knows why? The truth of the matter is that Desperate Times is simply a collection of flash fiction and short stories about male protagonists who find themselves facing various conflicts. These stories do owe quite a bit to the rich American short story traditions that these previously mentioned literary giants (Bukowski, Hemingway) have already set forth. It's hard not to be inspired by their books and advice on writing. One modern writer I love just for his understanding of dialogue is David Mamet. Glengarry Glen Ross, Hurly Burly, Speed The Plow. Doesn't matter if you are writing for the stage or a short story. Great dialogue is great dialogue.

Who are your other literary heroes? 

Melville and Kerouac have all impacted me in various ways. How can you not read Moby Dick over and over and over and marvel at the timeless poetry within? Oscar Wilde's gorgeous use of description in his short stories is almost like that of a painter. Capote's facility with language at such a young age, Kerouac's exuberant jazz-like explorations, O'Henry's incredible sense of humor and use of Twain-like twists of phrasing. There are so many incredible American short story writers. My hope is that folks who pick up Desperate Times might also decide to explore America's great short story traditions.

Any other short story writers that have caught your attention? 

James Joyce, I love Dubliners which I just came across recently at a book fair in Kent, Ct. Joyce's writing style is such a pleasure to read and his ability to deliver a meaningful and resonant short story is so impressive.  While not a short story, I was greatly impressed recently by the classic French coming of age novel The Wanderer by Henri Alain Fournier. Also, I'm just now digging into the collected stories of Guy De Maupassant and was immediately blown away by the sheer beauty and profundity of  Moonlight. I also picked up a dog-eared copy of Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio, which I've often wanted to read. It has a weird, unsettling, mythic quality to it due to the way that Anderson incorporates dreams with character sketches. Reminds me a bit of the feeling you get watching Blue Velvet or Twin Peaks.

Adam Kluger

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About the Author

Adam Kluger is a New York City writer and artist and distant cousin of famed British sculptor Sir Jacob Epstein. Kluger attended the same high school as Jack Kerouac and draws inspiration from diverse literary sources that include Charles Bukowski, John Fante, Ernest Hemingway, and Herman Melville as well as artists Jean Dubuffet, Andy Warhol, Bob Ross, Eric Payson, and Pablo Picasso. Kluger is one of the leaders of New York's growing Anti-Art movement. Kluger has had over fifty short-stories published by various literary magazines and literary-arts outlets in the U.S., U.K., and Ireland.Adam is a proud dad and a terrible golfer who credits his current literary and art-world success to hard work, a willingness to completely ignore all the rules and the kindness and unflagging support of family and friends. Find out more at https://literallystories2014.com/artists/adam-kluger/

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