James R. Parkinson's "Half Dollar Rebel" Release Party and Reading
Half Dollar Rebel: Annals of Hard-Boiled Determination and Dogged Misanthropy
Unemployed, depressed, and ten thousand dollars in debt, one fed-up comedian moves from the Pacific Northwest to outer-borough New York City. His resume reads like the ingredient list on a pack of Marlboros, his video-game addiction is rivaled only by that of his cell phone, and he fires his therapist in favor of a ten-speed bicycle. He knows a life well-lived is one that costs some skin; through dating disasters, employment mishaps, tested friendships, financial upheaval, dieting backslides, Occupy protests, gay marriage disputes, and opening days of comic-book blockbusters, he may not exactly be on the verge of putting it all back together, but he's well on his way to discovering the existential glue that will.
This debut collection of narrative nonfiction essays from a noteworthy new talent is gritty and dark, yet quirky and eccentric, with pitch-perfect metaphors aplenty and a nearly Sisyphean humor derived from both inner and environmental struggle. Boasting a fresh, comedic-noir style, these are the trench-warfare tales of every tenacious, heartsick, alienated dude who just wants break through the irony-saturated din and find meaning on the other side.
"Like an R. Crumb panel, Parkinson's self-righteous indignation is often strange, laugh-out-loud funny, and always packed with detail. His writing betrays an idealistic curmudgeon who feels defeated because he worries he's seen it all, and hopeful because he knows he hasn't. The tightly-packed sentences eviscerate contemporary idiocy, but taken out of context they crackle like Twitter-age Beat poetry. They're the journal entries of a restless soul, dripping with the self-conscious desperation of fading youth and speaking to the countless underemployed and overeducated Americans like him. If it's possible to affect a defeated swagger, to wonder why things are so terrible and so great at the same time, Parkinson nails it." The Denver Post's John Wenzel, author of Mock Stars: Indie Comedy and the Dangerously Funny
Parkside Lounge (View)
317 East Houston
Manhattan, NY 10002
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