The Reviews Are In: Need Machine and In Calamity's Wake

Neat thing: I've been writing book reviews for the Telegraph-Journal. This is the paper where I did a co-op placement way back in high school, so it feels extra fantastic to return to it as someone with an (evolving) opinion. This month, I got to read two books: Andrew Faulkner's Need Machine and Natalee Caple's In Calamity's Wake. Both were strong pieces of writing - I recommend them. Here are some soundbites from the reviews, which appeared on March 30th and April 6th.

Need Machine

Andrew Faulkner’s debut collection is the poetic equivalent of a pinball machine. It pops and whirs, chirps and flares. And at exactly the right moment, the ball goes someplace you never expected.

Need Machine lights up with images in rapid succession – syndicated television. Rush-hour traffic. Aspirin. Vodka. The Blue Jays. The poems move at a manic clip, lines slipping sideways through logic like letters through a door slot.


In Calamity's Wake

Equal parts mirage and archive, Natalee Caple’s In Calamity’s Wake is a dense, layered work of historical speculation.

The novel, set in the early twentieth century, tracks Miette, the grown daughter of noted frontierswoman Calamity Jane. Left at birth to the kindness of a Canadian priest, Miette has little interest in the woman who gave her up. But at her adopted father’s death, compelled by a promise, Miette sets out for the Badlands.

Books are great.