Sunday, August 22, 2010

“Krakow Melt”

By Daniel Allen Cox
ISBN No. 978-1-55152-372-9
You know how when you group your books in your bookcase by genre and there’s always a few of them that defy easy cataloguing? “Krakow Melt” is such a book. Even though it’s only 151 pages the book requires reams of text to explain even its minor plot twists. Simply put, it’s about two Polish firebugs fighting homophobia in Krakow in 2005. Wrapped up in that sales pitch, however, is the firebrand POV of its renegade author. Gender roles, sexual orientation, socio-political commitment and materialism are given valentines or bull’s-eyes in the galvanizing prose of Cox. An author’s second book is usually his safest but Cox, proving that his first book, “Shuck” was no fluke and that he still has a masterpiece in him, seems even more reckless the second time around. The characters are smarter, the dialogue is sharper and the words themselves seem to come straight from Cox’ unconscious. The book is so conversation-worthy that you don’t want to spoil it for other readers by quoting anything at all. But still, like a song stuck in your head, lines linger and demand sharing: “She then returned to her reading, which I found ridiculously sexy,” he writes. “A book lures you into a state of bodily comfort and then, once your limbs are placed just right, finger-f---s your insides. I wanted to be the book, stretching her open a little wider with very pithy sentence.” Whew… Is there a literary genre called Mental Hook-up?