Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Story for Every Couch Potato Who Really Wants to Save the World

Life is not about the small things. That's a lie too many parents tell their sons. It is really about the large stuff, the things that take teamwork and effort. Like a couch. And some couch's are magical things and change the lives of three guys who are friends. Like in Couch by Benjamin Parzybok.

Three guys live in an apartment. Sounds like the beginning of a modern fairy tale. And that's what Parzybok (who's name would be just awesome on the label for a dark beer) has written. There's Thom, a computer hacker who is more infamous than successfully employed. Eric, more of a bumbler than a con man. And lastly Tree, a strange guy who might have prophetic dreams.

And then there's the couch. This may be the most famous couch in all of American literature. More famous than the one where Holden Caulfield fell asleep. Parzybok's couch is large and orange. A slacker's dream couch.

When the apartment gets flooded and the boys evicted, the journey begins. A journey with the couch, by the couch, for the couch.

'Wait,' you say? 'That's crazy!' you say.

Yes, it's surreal and wonderful and strange--everything life should be.

A sample:

"That way is I-84." He pointed to the right for his roommates. "Just a couple of blocks that way"--he pointed in the opposite direction--"is the Food Front co-op. If we are really going to carry a couch several days east, we're going to need provisions." His roommates nodded, and they began carrying the couch toward the co-op.

"The couch wants to go this way," said Tree.

"It's light this way, but that doesn't mean it doesn't want to go the other way too," Erik said.

Thom rolled his eyes. "Maybe it's just hungry."

So what will our heroes do when they are offered a fortune for the couch... receive threats because of the couch... learn what life (and death, because you can't have the first without the second) is about, all because of an orange couch that everyone desires?

This is a brilliant book.

What are you sitting on? Right now? Tonight? I recommend reading this book on a sofa, which is sort of like a couch, but might not be as heavy or as orange.

And check out this interview with the author.


Katherine Langrish said...

This sounds brilliant. I really want to read it! Thanks for pointing it out!

Steve Berman said...

Katherine, it really is an inventive book. I love how the strange interacts so seamlessly with the real world. No cushions needed on this Couch!

Liviania said...

This sounds awesome.

Unfortunately, I read the review on a bed.

Katherine Langrish said...

I have it on order now, so can't wait...