Fiction Collective Two is an author-run, not-for-profit publisher of artistically adventurous, non-traditional fiction.

98.6



98.6: A Novel
by Ronald Sukenick

Paperback
1975
Price: $14.50

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A group of people, trying to contend with the failure of hope that took place at the end of the sixties, withdraws from what they call "The Dynasty of the Million Lies" and creates a settlement in the woods of the far west. These refugees from our culture, trying to live a healthy, normal life as pioneers of a latter-day frontier, find they are forced to pay heavily for thier retreat in terms of sexuality, death and insanity. The novel consists of three parts: "Frankenstein", "The Children of Frankenstein" and "Palestine". The first section is a disjointed documentary collage expressing the violent chaos of the culture, the second is a narrative about the settlement with its communal and sexual experimentation, and the third, "Palestine", is a utopian vision of Isreal that takes place on a perfect kibbutz in which all problems are solved. 98.6 is a novel that marks the end of a generation of hope without giving in to hopelessness.


"...the very best sort of experimental writing by one of the very best writers of it."—New York Times Book Review


"...great humanity, truly embodying part of our own epoch's nightmare and aspiration."—Minneapolis Tribune


Excerpt


7/14 a shadow solidifies in the mist. The cobbled seawall. The sloop tacks into the harbormouth wallowing in the swell. Sailor sends them up the bay on a close beat bow bobbing through the chop while he hauls in sail. It's just dawn. They're moving into Frankenstein. Sailor finds their berth heads up as he drops the main halyard Sailor handles the jib-sheet they come about. He jumps on to the dock Sailor throws him the bowline.

Welcome to Frankenstein says the Sailor I'll take care of the boat you go on Sailor hands him an envelope.

What is it he says.

A message from Frankenstein don't open it now.

When do I open it.

When you get the message says the Sailor he thinks of slapping Sailor's face not too hard just hard enough to create a dialogue. He doesn't do it it isn't the way. How does he know you ask. You intuit. That's how you do it.