“As the years progressed, my use of words became less rather than more. Instead of obsessive modernist detail and the omniscient narrator, I turned to metafiction. I honed in on clarity, economy, precision, and accountability to not only myself, the writer, but first and foremost to the reader. My mantra became writing is dialogue, not monologue; communal sharing, not self-referential isolationism.” —Richard Kalich, from an interview in Rain Taxi Review
Each new novel from Richard Kalich is at once a natural progression and a surprise. Sharp, observant, erudite, attuned to our times, he is a writer who endlessly innovates. This time, he offers his readers an “instanovel” and captures the best of the Instagram concept – the poetry of communication through images.
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Richard Kalich is a new voice for me, but one that I found very enjoyable in A Man Made Long Ago. I appreciated the author's literary approach and exploration/reflection in this text.
"What is this novel about? The last person you should ask is the author" says Richard Kalich. He makes this obvious by questioning the validity of the work throughout its pages. To me it is a series of reminiscences in an 'Instagram' format, calling up relationships of the author to his beloved but demanding twin, and the three great loves of his life, who ultimately left him. Set out as a book of random thoughts, or aphorisms, if you like, it constantly challenges your concentration and commitment. Again, in his own words, (he's made it so easy for reviewer's) "In a Man Made Long Ago, I'm hoping to create a full novel with every line, paragraph, page I write. Writing in this form allows me to write what I never have been able to write before". For sure, every line or paragraph is a new line of thought and there's a great deal of thought gone into prose for it is succinct, spare and punchy. A Masterpiece of Self-Indulgence? Maybe; Probably. But certainly fresh.