A Naked Singularity Returns

At The Constant Conversation, Scott Bryan Wilson points to another satisfied reader of A Naked Singularity:

A more important question, though: how did the publishing industry fail this book? Someone should be paying Sergio De La Pava for the right to publish him; that work of this caliber is being published by a vanity press is depressing. The publishing industry prides itself on being a filter saving us from the mounds of garbage that are annually written; but honestly, this book could advantageously be pitted against almost any novel published in the past ten years by the big houses – especially the endless raft of New York novels. This is a book that deserves to be read more widely; in a better world, people would be reading this rather than Freedom.

By way of backstory, a couple of months ago we ran Scott’s rave for A Naked Singularity in The Quarterly Conversation, one of the first and only raves this book has received. (Though, Steve Donoghue’s rave in Open Letters Monthly is a notable exception.) Said book is a 700-page self-published novel published in 2008, and more and more people are saying whichever editors passed on this book really missed the boat.

Not to make too great of claims for a book I’ve never read, but lots of books that are now considered classic and even canonical were self-published in their day, some not really receiving due recognition (or the imprimatur of a publishing house) for a decade or more. I don’t know if that’s the case with Naked Singularity, but it certainly is a book that has inspired a lot of readers that I know and trust. At the very least, it’s exciting to watch something like this catch hold via these back-road Internet channels.

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Could be an interesting book club selection…..

I read it and was very impressed. It’s intelligent, laugh-out loud funny, suspenseful, insightful… I can’t say enough about it. It’s impossible to explain in a couple of lines. It’s a long book, but defintely time-well spent. I’m really hoping that they turn it into a movie one day. It would be phenomenal!

I’ve only read about two hundred pages so far; and my impression is that it’s a sure game changer, in the sense that it should put the US back on the map of international literature. After a brief hiatus, I guess. I mean it’s all relative and it wasn’t so long ago that Underworld and Gravity’s Rainbow were published. Just to say it’s a really great book and I am wondering how it’ll compare with the other more expansive reads I hope to get to soon, like Zone and the Kindly Ones. I hope there’s a few, if not darker, laughs there.

How has no indie press picked this up yet?

I read Singularity a few weeks ago, and I’d recommend it to anyone. The author has true storytelling skills, and a real sense of humor. Even if you don’t consider it a great book (I thought it was very, very good), why a conventional publishing house didn’t pick this up is beyond me.

How long will it take before this novel imposes itself as the next group read? So unusual from the professional end (agents and publishing) and such a landslide approbation on the other!

[…] The Quarterly Conversation’s Scott Bryan Wilson gave it a big, big rave. And after that, more and more people came out in this book’s favor. And in fact, lots of you have already bought and read this […]


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