Rating: 3 stars
Michael S.A. Graziano is an interesting creature. A Princeton University professor of neuroscience by day, and a writer of strange and imaginative metaphorical literature the rest of the time—that is when he’s not channeling his alter ego B.B. Wurge, a super intelligent, giant orangutan who writes children’s books.
There’s little question whether Graziano knows he’s dark and strange. It’s not like he’s happily writing then suddenly takes a quick left turn; no, Graziano’s quirkiness shines bright from the very first page.
With previous offerings such as The Divine Farce where three naked people stand in a cage discussing life, as pear nectar drips from the ceiling, and The Love Song of Monkey where the protagonist lives under the ocean after being dumped there by his wife and her lover who rendered him basically brain dead, then folded him up into a garment bag. There’s no question that Graziano takes eccentric to a whole new level.
In his latest endeavor Death My Own Way, Graziano takes the reader on a journey through the eyes and experiences of a terminally ill man who completes the trajectory of life from birth to death in a single, rainy night in Central Park.
The intentions behind Graziano’s novels are up to interpretation and Death My Own Way is no exception. One potential lesson may be that despite the sentence life hands down, it’s what you do next that matters—the outcome may already be set, but how you get there is still up to you.
As always, Mr. Graziano’s writing delves deeper than mere words on a page. It urges people to navigate life with an open mind. Just because an idea or concept may come from an unlikely place, or someone believed to have less stature due to circumstance, doesn’t necessarily render that source less valid.
However you interpret his books, Michael Graziano continues to be a creative, intuitive writer, who possesses an incredibly distinct voice and ruggedly tactile prose that raises way more questions than it answers.
Paperback: 130 pages
Publisher: Leapfrog Press (November 27, 2012)