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Display Name: CWFredrickson
About me: I'm a Mpls-based blogger, absurdist/humor writer, and editor for print and online media.
Reading Interests: Gene Wolfe, Mark Twain, Dorothy Parker, dark fantasy, cyberpunk, cognitive science, word origins/history and etymology, graphic novels.

CWFredrickson's Book Lists
Homebrewing (13 titles)
Some of the best books for creating your own beer, imitating the popular brands, or just exploring the broad and dazzling world of international beer.

CWFredrickson's Comments    
Cover ArtTorpedo. Volume 1
by Sanchez Abuli, E.
This is a really questionable book. The artwork is spectacular, and it would be valuable to any budding graphic artist to study the techniques of Alex Toth and Jordi Bernet, but the positives end there. Torpedo, the main character, is an inelegant thug prone to racism and not above rape for "payment." There are no redeeming qualities to elevate him to the status of anti-hero: he’s just an ill-tempered goon with enough money to dress well but never enough to get anywhere in life. Perhaps it’s the translation from French into English that stripped this book of its wry humor, because mainly these short stories were depressing or repugnant, but the artwork is an excellent study.   posted Mar 21, 2012 at 3:51PM

Cover ArtLow moon
by Jason, 1965-
I really enjoyed this book, a collection of five almost mystical short stories. The simple illustrations convey a very ponderous tension between the characters, an expectation of greater things at play, and I don’t know how Jason does this. There is so much life present and hinted at in each of the characters, so the funny moments are full of relief, with both subtle and overt humor, and the darker moments are quite bleak or dreadful. How should this be possible with comical-looking anthropomorphized dogs? And I didn’t realize this until I read the public library’s subject categorization, but yeah, each of these stories is about revenge and its futility. The characters who seek it and get it never find it satisfying, and those who never attain it often get lost in its pursuit. What an interesting theme to center five stories around.   posted Mar 11, 2012 at 12:20PM

Cover ArtPaying for it : a comic-strip memoir about being a john
by Brown, Chester
This was a fascinating story. Brown’s candor in representing himself is refreshing and, even if one doesn’t exactly empathize with his choices, he makes it clear (through action, introspection, and contrast against his friends) why he goes into seeking "escorts." The body of the novel itself is a very thoughtful conversation on the sex industry, but on top of that Brown provides a couple dozen appendices that sufficiently address nearly every point that could be raised in objection to the existence of prostitution or the patronage of this profession. It’s a quite complex issue that has been oversimplified and grossly misrepresented by mainstream media, and this book stands as a very calm and lucid rebuttal.   posted Mar 11, 2012 at 12:13PM

Cover ArtPractical short story writing
by Sheriff, John Paxton
This is an extremely important how-to guide for writers. I can’t stress that enough: Paxton goes all the way back to the basic components of short story fiction and builds upon them with each chapter. If you read this book carefully and diligently follow these exercises, you will surprise yourself with the quality stories you can generate. This is a must-read for anyone wrestling with writer’s block or simply in the mood for motivating writing exercises.   posted Feb 24, 2012 at 11:24AM

Cover ArtClone brews : recipes for 200 commercial beers
by Szamatulski, Tess, 1954-
You might not save money, and you won't save time, but imagine the fun you'll have making your favorite beers at home! Anyone can buy a case of beer, but there's something empowering about opening your fridge and looking at 24 bombers of the lager, ale, or stout you made yourself. Share them with friends or pour them into a nice stew: it just tastes better when you make it yourself.   posted Feb 24, 2012 at 11:12AM

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