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JOSHUA MATTSON reads from his debut novel A SHORT FILM ABOUT DISAPPOINTMENT

A Short Film About Disappointment (Penguin Press)

Set in a wildly imaginative and uncannily familiar world of nanny states and extreme rationing, Safe Zones and New Koreas, A Short Film About Disappointment is an uproarious story of trying to keep it together in turbulent times. Told in the form of 81 movie reviews, this is an ingenious novel about art and revenge, insisting on your dreams and hitting on your doctor, written by a debut novelist with a rotten wit and the imagination of a hyperactive child.

In near-future America, film critic Noah Body uploads his reviews to an underread “Content Aggregator.” His job is dreary routine: watch, seethe, pan. He dreams of making his own film, free of the hackery of commercial cinema. Faced with writing on lousy movies for a website that no one reads, Noah smuggles into his reviews depictions of his troubled and marginal life.

Amidst his movie reviews, we learn that his apartment in the “vintage slum” of Miniature Aleppo has been stripped of furniture, after his wife ran off with his best friend, who Noah believes has possessed his body. Noah is in the midst of an escalating grudge match with a vending machine tycoon with a penchant for violence. And he’s infatuated with a doctor who has diagnosed him with a “disease of thought.” Exhausted by days spent watching flicks featuring monks with a passion for rock and roll and slashers featuring rampaging hairdressers, Noah is determined to create his own masterpiece, a filmed meditation on art-with-a-capital-A, written by, directed by, and starring himself.

This is fiction that thrums and excites on the line level—it is full of surprising images, epigrammatic wit, and great jokes. A Short Film About Disappointment displays the precocious brilliance and originality of the early works of George Saunders and Donald Antrim.

Joshua Mattson is a novelist from Northern Minnesota. He works in the service industry and A Short Film About Disappointment is his debut. He currently lives in Los Angeles.

Photo by Sundus Al-Bayati

Event date: 
Saturday, August 11, 2018 - 5:00pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
A Short Film About Disappointment: A Novel Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780525522843
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: Penguin Press - August 7th, 2018