Tag Archives: Mike Young

Fun Camp Review Roundup

On here I created a permanent FUN CAMP tab, which I’ll keep updated with info, links, blurbs, and reviews as they roll out in the coming weeks. Here’s what we’ve got so far.


Mike Young has kicked things off with a very nice preview/review of FUN CAMP, generous with excerpts: Gabe Durham’s FUN CAMP: “Anything that doesn’t send you to the showers isn’t worth laughing at.”

FUN CAMP has the skinniest low voice. FUN CAMP has the most earnest eye width. FUN CAMP is tall and kind and stalwart and genuinely funny, sweetly so, like the difference between a blackberry and corn syrup … I mean, there are parts of this book that are literally better than Wet Hot American Summer. Yeah. For real. I’m not blowing watermelon relays up your ass. It’s not hard to read this book at all—this book is fucking entertaining.

Holy WHAS comparison!!! Thanks, Mike.


Meanwhile, editor J.A. Tyler of the recently-closed Mud Luscious Press, had this to say:

I read thousands and thousands of book manuscripts for Mud Luscious Press, and none were ever like FUN CAMP. Durham’s debut is a novel but not a novel, a story collection but not a story collection, witty though not all about the clever, a kind of funny rippled with sadness: FUN CAMP is the perfect amalgamation. From now on, when someone asks me what it means to grow up, to run away into our future selves, I will hand them this book.

J.A. helped me edit the content of the book, and it’s the better for it.


Then, today at HTMLGIANT, an anonymous reviewer gives the book an 8.8, makes some sharp observations about what the book is up to, and also takes an autobiographical approach that seems only natural with a book like this:

My thirteen year-old self was hesitant, shy, and apt to disengage at sleep-away camp, but after I let myself go and gave into the fun, I didn’t want to leave. Fun Camp struck me the same way. Give yourself over to its silliness, its slick po-mo, and like a camper, you won’t want to leave when it comes to an end.


Thanks to everyone who has written or will write something about this book. It all takes time and you have lives! And thanks to everyone else for helping me spread the word. As with all books but especially indies, I’m relying on friends and colleagues and bloggers and tweeters and family members and distributors and bookstore owners and dogs and babies and robots to help make the book known.

Exactly one month to go. Soon there will be a cover because there has to be.

Pre-order FUN CAMP here. Cheap, cheap, cheep.

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Buzz the World

Hey, I wrote a post about Mike Young’s terrific Look! Look! Feathers story, “The World Doesn’t Smell Like You.”

It’s part of Matthew Simmons’ series on Mike’s stories. Here are a couple others:

Burk’s Nub

The Peaches Are Cheap

Fitting, too: It’s Short Story Month. NOÖ and Matt Bell and others are holding it down all May long.

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My “Best Inedibles of 2010” List Has Moved

to the blog powerhouse, BIG OTHER, alongside other year-end lists by Andrew Borgstrom, Eugene Lim, Kevin Prufer, Cooper Renner, and David Shields.

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Burr & Hamilton Interview @ Mid-Continent Library

Either Burr or Hamilton--who can say for sure? Nobody.

I interviewed Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton for the Mid-Continent Library blog. Thanks to Dylan Little for setting it up. The gentlemen and I chatted for a good long spell, so tomorrow I’ll post the unabridged version.

For the same series, Mike Young interviewed Ada Lovelace

and Adam Robinson interviewed Martin Luther.

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Cinnamon Urns at Ari & Sara’s House

Mike, Christy, Ari, and Anne were all kind enough to help fulfill my angst fantasy with a cover of the Arcade Fire’s “Intervention.” I’m having as much fun in this video as it looks like I’m having.

Other hits that night included Mike’s O God of Mercy, O Wild God and Ari’s I Never Found Out What She Wanted Me For.

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The Gather Round Children Variety Post

It’s a hard time for everybody: Can we agree, then, to just give links this year?

Jack Christian started a blog, Precious Document. He’s just giving away poems that appeared in sweet print journals like Black Warrior Review. His questionable business moves are America’s gain.

You can watch the first episode of Flight of the Conchords, Season 2, at Funny or Die. It’s good.

Also funny: New Stella Short

If you can get your hands on McSweeney’s #29 (the new one), read the first story, “It’s Nice When Someone is Excited to Hear From You,” by Brian Baise. It’s fantastic. A detestable narrator whose detestability  isn’t immediately identifiable and never redeems himself exactly, but complicates himself enough not to be hatable. Voicy without tricks.

My mom and Ed got me a 2-year subscription to Quick Fiction, and I’m halfway through the new one. Lots of gems in this gorgeous little book. So far, my favorite is “The Torturer…” by Michael Thurston. There’s also a nice one by Anthony Varallo, who had a very funny story in the issue of Fugue I read a couple of weeks ago. So he’s on my radar now.

Michael Ocean shreds on his custom telecaster: Paranoid Android

Michael Young shreds on his custom keyboard.

Deb Olin Unferth did a Daytrotter reading. Her voice is different, higher, than I’d imagined. I like it.

Damien Jurado also did a Daytrotter session, including a nice morose rendition of “Ohio.”

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Copy Pasty White Skin

Mike said he’d write a blurb poem about my writing if I wrote a blurb about his poetry using the phrase “comic enjambment.” Well I’m no fool so I took him up on it. Some day I’ll have a book and on the front cover it will say, “‘Hot Mormons!’ ~Mike Young,” and then people will buy it.

GABE DURHAM ON MIKE YOUNG: “Mike Young’s poetry has the “good fat” of a ripe avocado and everybody knows it. When he concluded his collection, “The Kindhearted Enemies of Mike Young,” with “I want to dip / my comic. In jam,” all of America wondered what “comic. in jam” meant.”

MIKE YOUNG ON GABE DURHAM: “Into a lineage that intersects the pastiche of Barthleme but dawned somewhere around Ezekiel 69:69, Gabe Durham somersaults or maybe limbos, touting anxious post-thumb-and-forefinger narratives of displaced class struggle and hot Mormons. Durham’s main themes of syncopated baby grinding, Africa, and solid-color polo shirts execute a mouvement gracieux in and out of his overriding conceits. In and out and in and oh my god oh my god oh my god. This interplay allows him to strive toward a unified weltanschauung that aligns him with such diverse poles as Richard Hell, Mallarme, and the guy who played the interactive chicken in that online Burger King commercial.”

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Recap: 3/26/08 – The GRC Variety Show

Our first live Gather Round Children Variety Show was hit. Thanks to all performers and attendees, and especially to Anjali Khosla. Let’s do it again.

A few delicious links have been added to the blogroll: Napkins, Melissa Rae and, Jeannie Hoag’s “I’m Quitting TV” blog. Check them out.

Here’s some photos (taken by Melissa Rae):


Mike Young rocks from atop a chair.


Gabe backs Liz TD up on her Linda Ronstadt jam.


MC Mr. Napkins prepares to break one off.

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