The real counterculture is not gone. Mark Amerika is proof of that … Here we have a writer who unravels his male heterosexuality as thoroughly as any post-feminist, who’s willing to make disturbing accusations against mainstream culture, while simultaneously wrestling with postmodernity.
Taking off from the cult success of his first novel, The Kafka Chronicles, Mark Amerika’s breakthrough second novel, Sexual Blood, is a wild trip through the dark side of America’s media-manipulated consciousness. His main character, Mal, an alternative rock musician, has a strange encounter with the Medicine Woman which causes him to hallucinate in a fantasy land populated by all of his former lovers. Mal, hoping to repent for all of the emotional damage he’s caused in the past, seeks a magic transfusion that will turn him into a compassionate human being; this is when he enters the realm of the Sexual Blood. Charged with a sensual language not seen since Henry Miller, Amerika’s mix of grunge rockers, reality hackers, expatriates and guerilla artists opens up in an erotic world lost in a theater of cruelty.
Amerika has taken the classic structure of the novel, run it through a postmodern mixer and poured it into a form that most resembles the brain patterns of a video game junkie about to beat his high score.
Fiction for [Amerika] becomes a kind of whirling acid trip, an anti-narrative-as-mind-altering drug that makes you see the universe and language like you’ve never seen them before. The outcome of these breathless heteroglossic strobes is part Leyner-ed Ginsberg, part Acker-ed Burroughs, part some kind of mutant Dexadrined Beckett …
A remarkable book, it held me all the way. Mr. Amerika — if indeed that is his name — has achieved a unique beauty in his most artful marriage of Blake’s lyricism and the iron-in-the-soul of Celine. Are we talking a new and hard-hitting Antonin Artaud? Absolutely. And much more.
… all of Amerika’s experiences contribute to his disjointed, driving writing style …
… contemporary, media-savvy space …
Mark Amerika not only plays music — the rhythm, the sound of his words and sentences — he plays verbal meanings as if they’re music
The Kafka Chronicles
The Kafka Chronicles is an adventure into the psyche of an ultracontemporary twentysomething artist who is lost in an underworld of drugs and mental terrorism, where he encounters a cast of angry yet sensual characters: Alkaloid Boy and Blue Sky, an inconspicuous and loving couple who find themselves subjected to constant government harassment; General Psyche and his sidekick Major Uptight, the military officers responsible for controlling the media upon briefing room during the Gulf War; King Bohemia, a guerilla-artist who hosts wild orgies; and, of course, Gregor Samsa, who wakes up one day and finds himself living in the eco-anarchy of postmodern America.
The Kafka Chronicles ignites a hyper-language that explores the relationship between style and substance, self and sexuality, and identity and difference. Amerika’s energetic prose uses all available tracks, mixes vocabularies, and samples genres. Taking its cue from the recent explosion of angst-driven rage found in the alternative rock music scene, this novel reveals the unsettled voice of America’s next generation.
In The Kafka Chronicles, postmodernist chef Mark Amerika serves up an exotic and tast bouillabaisse whose delightfully bizarre ingredients include succulent chunks of Leyner, Baudrillard, Kafka, Bataille, Jameson and cyberpunk all simmered in a rich sauce of nowspeak, advertising lingo and Sonic Youth lyrics not to be passed up!
Mark Amerika not only plays music — the rhythm, the sound of his words and sentences — he plays verbal meanings as if they’re music/ I’m not just talking about music. Amerika is showing us that William Burroughs came out of jazz knowledge and that now everything’s political — and everything’s coming out through the lens of sexuality.