"A one-road town filled with an odd variety of introverts, extroverts, mindless shapes and the cackling ghosts of ill confidence."
--from at last there is nothing left to say
anaticism or semi-worship.
Somewhere in between those two lies how much I like the Matthew Good Band. I wouldn't go so far as to call myself a stalker. I wouldn't go to Matt's house and knock on his door, leave him a box of chocolates and a dozen roses and a little note that says something like 'You're the best.'
I can say this though. I like them so much, that if the occasion ever arose and I met Matthew Good, I'd have to file myself away with all the other babbling fans that say things like 'I'm a really big fan' and 'You guys kick ass.'
I can also say that I like the MBG so much that as soon as I heard their namesake was releasing a book, I went out and bought it quicker than a twelve year old picking up a copy of the new Backstreet Boys album. Then I ran home with a huge grin on my face, knowing this was going to be like nothing I'd ever seen before.
Truth be told, I'd already read half of it when I bought it. I was more interested in the fancy packaging and seeing what kinds of other neat-o stuff the publishers were going to throw into the book.
The book, titled at last there is nothing left to say, is a collection of stories and 'manifestos' that Mr. Good had released on his official website for the hordes of fans to read each month.
The stories, if you will, date back to late 1998 and continue through until recent releases.
But it's hard to call these stories. It's hard to call these anything, really. Upon reading them, one wonders if these are fiction, coming from a cynic's mind. Or we wonder if Mr. Good is just ranting about the state of our society as a mindless, television consumed entity.
The back cover of the book says at last there is nothing left to say takes the form as a writer's journal. This is an easily recognizable statement after reading the first couple pages. The writing is raw and harsh and stinging towards whatever subject Mr. Good is writing about. Whether it be the Canadian music industry, the film industry, television or society. Anything. It always comes off as more of a rant than a story, but it works in this book, and Mr. Good manages to pull off this challenge with seeming ease.
A couple standout stories include the aptly titled, Television, Porno Safari and the Killing of Matthew Good.
There are also random snippets of writing on the borders of almost every page that either makes up a story, or partial lists of things that irk Mr. Good.
The packaging of the book is excellent. Trade paperback, 162-pages and decorated with fan photography sent to Mr. Good himself, it's a nice book to look at. The cover depicts a large pair of lips that look as though they were taken from a television. The perfect cover for a book called at last there is nothing left to say.
Now, I bet you're wondering these questions:
But is this book any GOOD? As a fan of the MGB, yes, it's good.
Do you have to like the MGB to like this book? Definitely not. The book isn't a series of random inside jokes relating to rare MGB music videos and songs. It's story telling. Plain and simple.
How well does Matt Good write? Is it worth my while to pick it up? Mr. Good writes with a certain cynicism and sarcastic wit that makes me laugh and frown. Reminiscent of Kurt Vonnegut jr (an author Good admittedly likes), Mr. Good's writing can best be described in every single way someone describes a Vonnegut novel. 'Dark satire,' 'Very funny,' 'Something to think about,' etc. Mr. Good's first book is a baby step towards becoming the newest satirist in the writing world. He's already talked in recent interviews about a new novel he's working on. I vaguely remember something about a story set in a futuristic British Commonwealth ruled by a canary.
As a whole this book is really enjoyable. It's thought provoking in places, humorous in others. Of the 48 or so stories in the book, none really fit together in any way whatsoever. Each one is it's own separate entity. It's a nice collection of stories, rants, random thoughts and other strange occurrences.
Mr. Good has outdone himself with this collection. A nice book to have around, well worth a second read when it's done once, it leaves readers and MGB fans hungry for more of the same down the road. It's the first in (hopefully) many more books to be released by the most spiteful, satirical new writer in Canadian fiction/rant-ism.
And at last, there is nothing left to say.
published by insomniac press