Greg Herriges's The Bay of Marseilles and Other Stories is available on Amazon.com.
The Winter Dance Party Murders
With his customary pyrotechnics, Herriges gives us a "what if" tale written in a swift, agile manner that has become his signature style over the course of seven luminous novels. So you thought Buddy Holly died in a plane crash in 1959, right? Rudolph Kearns, aka Rudy Keen, begs to differ. Keen, a striving rock and roll song writer and musician, narrates an alternate history concerning some of the greatest singers of the 50?s and 60?s. He has the inside scoop on numerous Rock giants: Del Shannon, Sam Cooke, Richie Valens, the Big Bopper and a wealth of other famous singers. Keen manages to write his own hit song, but nothing turns out the way he dreamed it would. Between the lines, Herriges seems to be reminding us to be careful what we wish for and be careful not to take any agents or record producers (or film producers either) at face value.
A witty and wild reimagining of rock
and roll history. Dare I say that
Greg Herriges rocks?
T.C. Boyle, author of The Harder They Come
The Winter Dance Party Murders is a sharp-witted, comedic, often sardonic
exposé of the backdoor nature of the music business and how it uses and
abuses its starry-eyed wannabes and icons. Herriges has given us a verbal
whirlwind—rich, deep and wide and endlessly imaginative. A unique,
Duff Brenna, author of AWP Award Winner Best Novel The Book of Mamie
Here is a novel full of belly laughs, terrific shtick, magical happenings, more
than a tincture of rock nostalgia, and a tongue-in-cheek cataclysmic rise of
the fourth Reich mystery by a masterful writer—and a recent rock star himself.
Thomas E. Kennedy, author of The Copenhagen Quartet
… a kind of Kafkaesque pomo Borscht-belt shtick that's reminiscent of some
weird admixture of Mark Leyner, Thomas Pynchon, and J. D. Salinger. The
result is irresistible in every way, from its goofball lyrics, slapstick routines, and
playfully meticulous sense of place to its nimble imagination, delicious voice,
and genuine love for those great old tunes. Yet it's also haunting in its revel-
ation of the deadening commodification of the arts in the late 20th century,
the aesthetic blandness of the programmatic mainstream, and the eerie
unsightliness of corporate incest.
Lance Olsen, author of Theories of Forgetting
Through it all and with a dark and humorous wit, Herriges expresses his
passion for the music, his love for its creators, and his distrust for the
industry. The novel is revisionist history at its best and funniest—and
probably most inaccurate. But who can say?
Thomas M. Kitts, Ph.D., author of John Fogerty: American Son
John Spector is a seasoned high school teacher with 22 years in the trenches of a ghetto school filled with struggling teenagers, gangs, apathetic students— but also students "who make an indelible impression, kids with souls and hearts as big as the world." We get the whole spectrum from Spector, a brave and decent soul, a soft touch, too nice, too caring perhaps. Herriges spent many years as a high school teacher. He brings substance and legitimacy to Streethearts. The authenticity of his narrative comes across in every line of every page, many of them packed with witty and sparkling dialogue, at times genuinely humorous, occasionally grim or even horrific, but always candid, always down-to-earth, always reliable.
Shrewdly written, its style rich but minimal without being minimalist, its
language bursting with street-smart wisdom, Streethearts puts us on the
inside track of what it really means to be an inner-city educator trying not
only to teach but to survive what is an increasingly menacing world loaded
with poverty, misery and violence. The hard-won truths we learn from
Spector are more than enlightening, they're intellectually life-altering.
The book is a triumph and should be required reading for anyone who
thinks he has the answers as to why so many of America's schools are failing.
Duff Brenna, author of Murdering the Mom
Herriges’s writings will make you remember the breaking and the mending of
your heart. From quirky post-modern tales to gritty depictions of street life,
Herriges’s writing alternates the humorous and the tragic, though is always
Thomas E. Kennedy, author of The Copenhagen Quartet
The Bay of Marseilles and Other Stories
These stories, Greg Herriges says, were born of individual, fleeting glimpses and memories, seemingly unbound by any linear reason. But once they were arranged in this collection, the recurring themes were evident—of desire and loss, of the intense isolation each of us necessarily endures and struggles with, as well as the redemptive—if sometimes elusive—power of love. Some of the stories are new, appearing here for the first time in print; others were published before on either side of the Atlantic. All of them evidence the expansive range of Herriges’s imaginative vision, the distinctive richness of his voice, informed by the conjoined power of his musical and literary talents and experience. Greg Herriges’s stories will make you remember the breaking and the mending of your heart.
“This is a brilliant collection of stories, precise in details—about possibility and yearning and loss and intimacy—and sweeping in scope. What a fine, fine book this is. One of Herriges's best.”
—Tony Romano, author of When the World Was Young
“This accomplished collection by Greg Herriges is an enjoyable and worthy read. With stories that range from sensitive depictions of young people on the cusp of their adolescence to those that render the fraught relations between adult men and women, Herriges humanely portrays life's ‘loss of sweetness.’
—Bruce F. Mueller, co-author, Critical Companion to J. D. Salinger: A Literary Reference to His Life and Work
Praise for previous books:
“Above all else, Herriges is a comedic writer of considerable talent.”
—Ron Grossman, Chicago Tribune
”The writing is funny and offbeat...Greg Herriges is an agile writer. He can swing from ghetto reflexes
to uptown chic.”
—Brent Spencer, San Francisco Chronicle
“...this is one of those rare contemporary novels brimming with humor, life and reality.”
Information about the Author
Greg Herriges began writing professionally in his twenties with an investigative report on gangs for The Chicago Tribune Magazine, “Inherit the Streets.” Soon afterward, he met with his literary hero, J.D. Salinger at Salinger’s home in Cornish, New Hampshire, a meeting that resulted in his first national publication, a profile/interview with the iconic author. It decided Herriges to turn to fiction writing, and years later inspired his book-length JD: A Memoir of a Time and a Journey (Wordcraft of Oregon, 2006).
He is the author of novels, short stories, and articles, as well as a series of literary DVD documentaries, including Thomas E. Kennedy: Copenhagen Quartet, and the award winning TC Boyle: The Art of the Story.
His short works have appeared in Story Quarterly, The Literary Review, The South Carolina Review, The Encyclopedia of Beat Literature, and Great Britain’s Popular Music and Society and World Wide Writers.
He is currently a professor of English at William Rainey Harper College in Palatine, Illinois.
His new ebook novels Streethearts and Lennon and Me are available in ebook shops everywhere.