Beer Mystic was born under unusual but [sur]real circumstances. I did actually walk under streetlights in NYC & they did give up the ghost & black out. This was long ago when exhaustion, disillusionment, poor eating habits, drink & nightclubbing had a mind-altering effect on reality. It was also during this time that we quite coincidentally formed the legendary [at least in our own minds] NYC writing group, the Unbearable Beatniks of Lite, The Unbearables. Cover: David Sandlin
BEER MYSTIC Pub Crawl: 40 sites host a Beer Mystic excerpt. Each host includes an excerpt + links to the BEFORE and AFTER excerpt. In this way you can read the entire book as you circumnavigate the globe. A map shows the geographical location of each publication.
BEER MYSTIC: Last Day on the Planet: film of the last chapter with soundtrack by Brain Damage from the album Spoken Dub Manifesto.
About the Beer Mystic: A Novel of Inebriation & Light
“Top-fermented, with a good nose, an acrid middle, a dry finish — bubbly and acidulous in reserved measure –and with ambient yeast peculiar to the Lower East Side, the kind that turns concrete to dust. Plantenga is a poet and a prankster as well as a distinguished bathtub brewer. He deserves immediate investigation.”
• Luc Sante, Low Life
Time/Ambience: Black Monday, October 1987, date of the previous financial crisis – the scent of Prozac perks the air.
There is a grim Reagan-era tension between Haves & Have-nots [& the Have-something-elses].
The Beer Mystic: Furman Pivo, a young, disillusioned lad, is probably in the wrong place with too much information & not enough ambition. He survives inconspicuously in a shadowy zone, just outside of the velvet ropes of the trendiest clubs, where he teeters on the edge of schizoidal perceptions – The Man Who Fell To Earth as Charles Bukowski reading Albert Camus. Dreams are born in darkness. Furman, too geared up to stay “home,” wanders the forgotten seams of nocturnal NYC to wear himself out so he can eventually fall sleep. He drinks to slow the world down, reverse the dizziness imposed upon us by the spin of our earth.
One fateful night Furman discovers himself drunk under a streetlight – when suddenly this streetlight goes out, on the blink, extinguished – Poof! – it’s dark. It happens again… & again & again. The unusual becomes the uncanny, & perceived synchronicity begins to acquire a mystical spin. He begins to believe he [or he + beer] may be the cause of these outages. Furman’s life gains substance, responsibility, & ultimately a quasi-religious fervor with a sense of mission.
Magical realism? Speculative meta-fiction? Or some hybrid?
“The Beer Mystic is so goddamn good at the end of the fog. The surreal, political & aesthetic levity talked to me in person. It sent me full speed into the outrageous black hole of Americana. I recommend it unconditionally; a wise, witty, poignant gift of real pleasure…”
• Larry McCaffery, Editor, Black Ice Books