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420 Characters (edition 2011)
by Lou Beach
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0547617933, Hardcover)Amazon Best Books of the Month, December 2011: Lou Beach takes the prize for best Facebook status update on nearly every page of 420 Characters. Most of us find it difficult to reduce the day’s events or our current emotional state to just 420 characters with spaces and punctuation, yet Beach manages to tell entire stories within these strict confines without losing anything you’d expect from a story with no character limit. These micro-stories range from funny to tragic to absurd, illustrated by Beach’s original artwork and collages. Taken separately, they’re the stories of dreams, both broken and realized; of relationships healthy and strange; of disillusionment and contentment. Taken together, they’re the story of life--or lives. Though there aren’t any overtly recurring characters, the stories still combine into a powerful cohesive whole that’s just as fun to read straight through as it is to read in chunks of 420 characters or less. --Malissa Kent
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:23:14 -0400)
"He dismounted at the dead end of the canyon, took a shovel and walked to a spot near a cottonwood and began to dig. When he was knee deep in the hole an arrow passed behind his head. He felt the air move and thought it a daring bird. The second arrow found its mark in his neck and the life seeped from him and he folded, inches from some letters and a lock of hair. Lou Beach began his writing career by updating his Facebook status, every day, with a new stand-alone story no more than 420 characters long. These narrative gems soon appeared on his website, and then arrived in the literary world. Alternately surreal, funny, ominous, and lyrical, 420 Characters offers an experience as dazzling as any in contemporary fiction, revealing worlds of meaning in single paragraphs. Beach's work has found admirers in Jonathan Lethem, Terry Gilliam, J. Robert Lennon, and others. The collection features original collages by the author, an acclaimed artist and illustrator"--
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