by Peter Markus
Peter Markus' Good, Brother is a collection of short-short stories/prose poems that revolve around the lives of two virtually conjoined brothers and the mythical world that they fashion out of fish, mud, stars, the moon and a girl. Through acts of sublimely innocent brutality, they perpetually (and unconsciously) strive to preserve and continually renew their primordial creations—and their own primal child selves—while living in a town, with a dirty river running through it, that is seen by others as being just a shipwrecked sort of place.
"In this spare and simple novel, Markus shapes and reshapes river and mud into a protean world perpetually reasserting itself through rituals that are at once down-home and arcane. There is a whole mythology here, generated privately between two brothers engaged in an always childlike (and for that reason all the more serious) task of creation. Good, Brother is like watching Raymond Roussel and Flannery O'Connor show up to the barn dance wearing hip waders and despite this still managing to outwhirl the best of them."
—Brian Evenson, author of Altmann's Tongue
INTL customers: please get it from Amazon in your country for cheaper shipping.
"Very little occurs in a Peter Markus story that does not involve a fish, mud, a brother, and, usually, a concluding act of brutality. Markus's language is primal, even primitive, but his sentence structure is among the most perplexing and, ultimately, fascinating I have ever encountered. Markus serves up sentence after sentence of startling musicality. These aren't stories in any traditional sense; they are works of a prose stylist with the ear of a poet."
—Peter Conners, American Book Review
"Markus writes like a blues singer; his tools are limited and specific. He employs just a few notes, but oh how those notes ring."
— Lynn Crawford, Brooklyn Rail
"In some moments like a compact novel and in others like a series of connected stories, Good, Brother uses the most sophisticated, experimental edges of fiction to tell a story about the grittiest, most primal emotions."
— Ross Simonini, Resonance Magazine
Individual pieces from Good, Brother first appeared in:
And in a limited edition book published by AWOL Press (out of print).
You can view some of the illustrations from Good, Brother on 5¢ense.