Donald Goines by Calvin Westra is an exciting alternative to other novels (45 views)
24 Feb 2023 01:30
Donald Goines is an exciting alternative to other novels, a drug novel styled as an insanely cracked cartoon. The Society for the Preservation of Rare Birds is a puppeteering troupe. They buy drugs from the pig and smoke them in Kagu’s garage. The pig is a public menace with a checkered past. Emmanuel knows the pig from way back. Kagu, Orange Bellied Parrot, Great Indian Bustard, Kakapo and Honduran Emerald are old friends— they extol marionettes and discount paper dolls, serious about their craft. Honduran Emerald and Dunie are in love in a market-saturated world with name-brand alternatives to garden variety relief, a world blurred into ubiquity, pulling you close to taste your jugular.
Calvin Westra is deadpan and merciless; authors like donald goines is a miraculous paradox, a synthesis of gritty, bawdy comedy and heartrending tragedy. At the center is a nuanced observation of what makes people tick, repetitions that begin to unfold and make koanic sense. A crapulent milieu, rich with an original vernacular, is populated by strange, rare birds. Fixated on a score, pushing through the cravings, they are like us, navigating and negotiating misery and trauma, subvocalizing resentments, getting into trouble with God, unable or unwilling to save themselves from their preselected life paths and small town reputations.
Donald Goines is a holy salve for the indignities thrust on us by fate, and a reclamation of pulp tropes for high art. Literary fiction that seduces you methodically until you turn the last page and the rock bottom falls out. A heart of gold is housed in the starkest, hardest, most diamond-cut prose you’ve ever read. Nothing but cold, hard facts and human nature, with a pathos painful and healing as only divine truth, the right kind of pain, Donald Goines brand pain and laughter.