by R.E. Klein
keep Bob from fast company he is encouraged to write books people claim to enjoy. To date he has three publications, all for sale (autographed)
at Sam: Johnsonís. The books
The History of Our World
Beyond the Wave (Harcourt 1998)
R.E. Klein's modern moral
fable begins with catastrophe: a massive wave engulfs Earth, washing away
civilization and leaving only a few isolated mountaintops exposed for
survivors to cling to. Just as the biblical flood was no ordinary disaster,
so this wave is fraught with metaphysical meaning.
Taking his cues from C.S.
Lewis and Milton, Klein follows one survivor, Paul, on his physical and
spiritual journey through the strangely altered post-wave world. Surfing the
now-endless sea in search of friends and a future, Paul encounters good and
evil in the form of fellow travelers, bizarre creatures, and freakish,
Lovecraftian landscapes, but no sign of life as it was before the
apocalypse. It's time for humanity to choose between the best and the worst
of the pre-wave world. Paul's compatriot Hiram Bell sums it up:
Hear me, that precious wave
of ours has scoured the planet clean to the lithosphere, rinsing away all
the drift and drabble and nasty little headachy things that drive men mad.
No more income tax, inflation, and nagging uncertainties. No more lawyers,
social workers, and corporate executives. Hereafter people will live in a
English literature majors
will have a field day with this small, elegant book--references aplenty to
tease out of the text. But fear not if you don't know Chaucer from Coleridge.
This is a cracking good fantasy that is fun to read and provides food for
thought--it begs rereading as soon as you've finished. --Therese
The New Yorker, December 28, 1998
"This elegantly written book is an acid trip between bound covers and,
like any intoxicant, makes the real world seem a little duller."
Available in hardback:
Mrs. Rahloís Closet
& Other Mad Tales (Time-Warner
Rahlo's Closet": It was a simple request, really. All the aged landlady
asked of the young medical student who rented a room in her decaying home
was to refrain from opening the closet door. Yes, a simple request. And an
impossible one . . . "Harla": They had the perfect marriage, Harla
and Mr. Tim--a marriage based on the murders of others. "Don't you
see?" Mr. Tim remarked. "Killing sweetens one's temper. Are we not
much kinder, more tolerant of others after each homicide?"
Available in paperback:
The Way to Mt. Lowe
"The Way to Mt. Lowe: A Southern California Tale" is a historical
dramatization of Southern California life between the years 1892 and 1959.
The story is told from the standpoint of Lyman Bright, a young boy who with
his eccentric family emigrates from Indiana in 1892 and lives the life only
livable in Southern California. The central theme and metaphor is Mt. Lowe
(the most popular Southern California attraction at the time). The book also
focuses on life along the Venice (California) Canals during Venice's
cultural explosion. Filled with colorful characters and odd situations, this
novel also functions on a unique level as a textbook of the history of Los
Angeles and environs during a time of wonder and excitement. Cover art by
Available in paperback: