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Book Review: Reejecttion by Daniel Clausen

See review on Goodreads.

See more about the book on Goodreads.

“You have committed a very serious breach of section 999 of the conformist laws, punishable by the NCP, the non-conformist police, a subsidiary of the police, which is of course a subsidiary of Theracorp.”

No one likes rejection.

Daniel Clausen is becoming one of my favorite independent authors. I received a copy of The Ghosts of Nagasaki a couple of years ago (wow time really flies) and I was entranced with his writing, threaded with the story of Shūsaku Endō’sSilence. I was very happy to see the release of Reejecttion; however, I seemed to have put it aside was was reminded of it when the second volume was recently released.

Well.. I guess I should begin my review before the Semicolon Mafia comes for my cyber-toenails.

Reejecttion is a collection of stories connected through letters of rejected stories. The letters start off…legitimate…but quickly devolve into outlandish and ridiculous, in my opinion, to illustrate the pain and sometimes absurdity of form rejections in the publishing world. My favorite in the collection was from the Laundromat Quarterly. As I said in one of my updates, I felt energy, synergy (What the hell is synergy? I have no clue) when reading this collection. The way the stories fell, the way the letters interjected between the stories, all drew me in and kept me engaged.

I enjoyed all of the stories but a couple stood out to me. I had read in the past the short story THE FORBIDDEN STORY OF PATIENT 14892. I was gripped by the story the first time I read it and even though it felt very familiar, I was finding new quips and pieces to the story that made me laugh in that way when you laugh at something so sad and true it’s funny. The second half of the story was new to me and I laughed right along with that one too. The story that has stuck with me the most was THE OPENING LINE. Wow. I was floored after reading this story. THE OPENING LINE is structure as a letter from one women to another on the surface about Jim, about their relationship, about a book and the opening line. But the depth. The depth! Of the comparison of a cheapy romance novel with a crappy opening line to her relationship is brilliant. How she could not get over the opening line. How that line and that gift was inseparable from her current relationship with Jim, her marriage. Only when she picked up a paperback version was she able to read and enjoy the novel…

“What an awful, ugly sentence. To understand how truly ugly it is you really do have to marry it. You have to have it presented to you signed in hardcover. But love doesn‘t always happen in such elegant terms. Sometimes love is just as dirty as that first line. I hope you can understand that.”

Final Rating: 4/5 stars

Nothing to do with my review, but this was one of my favorite quotes. I share the same fear.
“I have this fear that used bookstores will cease to exist in the near future. They exist in spite of reality now.”


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