by Eric C. Novack
I lived in Michigan’s Ferndale as it transformed into a countercultural hotbed with cheap rent. Previously, I had discovered a deeper view into drunkard poet Charles Bukowski through a two-volume VHS set of French TV interviews rented from the local Thomas Video. It was either on those tapes or other Hank material when the Buk’ tried to explain the difference between himself and Henry Miller. One of the authors was pointed out to explain a coupling as merely “he stuck his dick in her,” while the other used a lot of hand waving.
I forget now which way the comparison ran and it has been too long since reading either writer to figure it out in my head. However, if you are still weighing the merits of each genius and spending time in rented houses babbling pseudo-intellectual conversations over beers like a scene out of Slacker, then you may appreciate Killing Molly. Or, you may enjoy critiquing Eric C. Novack’s character depth and rigid, if experimental, architecture of dramatis personae or just gazing through his kaleidoscopic view of diabolical influence and lives wasted.
Novack’s diary-like entries start out as brief, superficial paragraphs but amplify into pages as the book moves along. This development recalls the Treasure Island comic books made by the young Crumb brothers, in which the cartoons were eventually overtaken by huge bubbles of text detailing the conversations between the Captain and the boy. (See the Crumb movie.)
This all suggests a climactic ending, but the final lines are more like something Robert Frost would pen. Exactly what difference did the “the one less traveled by” make?