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upcoming novel
Penthouse F

by Richard Kalich

"A marvelous book. It manages to do with metafiction in a short novel what the great postmodernists like Coover and Barth take five or six hundred pages to do."

Penthouse F strikes me as an eminently publishable book, one that is not only original and unique, but also highly readable. Indeed, it seems to me that while the ideas behind the work are quite complex, the execution feels almost effortless - it's a real pleasure to read.

The boundaries between fiiction and reality are first crossed, then crossed again, then completely rearranged, in this slim but smart novel by the author of
CHARLIE P and THE NIHILESTHETE, and the results are at once morbidly entrancing and thought provoking. A wonderful book."

- Brian Evenson, Director, Creative writing program, Brown University. Author of the novels, THE FATHER OF LIES and THE OPEN CURTAIN.


"If one of the great European intransigents of the last century - say, Franz Kafka or Georges Bataille or Witold Gombrowicz - were around to write a novel about our era of reality tv and the precession of simulacra, the era of Big Brother and The Real World, what would it look like? Well, it might look like Richard Kalich's PENTHOUSE F, a narrative of sexual (or is it aesthetic?) obsession and closed-circuit television, set in a recognizable twenty-first-century Manhattan but opening onto an interior space that both does and does not belong to our world - a space contiguous with those dark inner rooms that the European avant-gardists took us into. Right next door to PENTHOUSE F is the closet where the whipper whips his perpetual victim in THE TRIAL..."

- Brian McHale, is an American literary theorist, a seminal critical figure in post-modern studies, author of Postmodernist Fiction (1987), Constructing Post-Modernism (1992), and The Obligation Toward the Difficult Whole (2004).

In an era where literary fiction is a diminishing concern in everyday life, Penthouse F blurs the distinction between biography and fantasy, and turns the act of reading a novel into an investigation about the process of producing one's own reality. As a reality television predominates the landscape of popular culture, so too does Kalich's piece leave one puzzling as though on the terminator between light and dark, uncertain if such simple binaries as "night" and "day" or "fact" and "fiction" even have relevance in our world.

Kalich is able to make a pointed critical ethical examination of an increasingly passive generation not simply bearable, but delightful. The novel is frequently hilarious, populated with numerous character sketches that portray a substantial cross-section of American life with sensitivity and care. It repeatedly affirms the value of human connection, while cautioning against a delusion that the instantaneity of electronic media can replace the substantiality of genuine human relationships.
- Christopher Leise, Book Critic for Electronic Book Review

Other Books
The Nihilesthete
Charlie P
The Zoo