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COMIC NOVEL TURNS POLITICAL WRITING INTO ART
“To shoot or not to shoot?”
“To make pressure cooker bombs, or not make pressure cooker bombs?”
“To embrace or spurn a blond beauty who might blow their cover if they let her into the leadership of the Central Committee?”
These are the questions that haunt the savage soldiers that comprise the San Diego 3, a trio of PTSD-scarred, love-starved Vietnam veterans who are on the trail of President Kennedy’s killers while serving as East Asia Veterans Against Violence activists and founders of a commune in Mexico.
Despite escaping neo-fascist “Amerika” to remote reaches south of the border, Herbert Horn, a wounded Marine vet, cannot escape his lifelong preoccupation with the personal meaning of JFK’s brutal public execution and why he failed to sabotage an evil empire by assassinating the Presidential candidate Senator Honus T. Rhinelander Junior at Founding Father Land Theme Park when he had a golden opportunity. As the years pass, Horn’s guilt deepens as he ponders the human suffering that would have been averted had he found the courage to fend off his fair-haired lady friend’s pleas and get off a kill shot. With every egregious occurrence such as the Rhinelander financed rape of Costa Rica; the Rhinelander-enabled Taliban takeover of Kyrgyzstan; a Rhinelander presidential successor installed by fiat of the Supreme Court; and redistribution of America’s wealth to a trans-national corporate cabal, Herb Horn’s remorse regarding his cowardice at the moment of truth escalates in an explosive manner.
Amerikan Krazy interprets the meaning of power in post modern Amerika. By turning political writing into art, Henry James Korn begins where Jules Verne, George Orwell and Edward Abbey left off.
REVIEWS AND COMMENTS
“Henry James Korn is one of our very best absurdist writers and Amerikan Krazy has all the best characteristics of Heller’s Catch 22, Jack Kerouac at his best like Dr. Sax and Robert Coover’s Public Burning.”
-Dr. Walter James Miller, Professor of Literature, New York University and host of Reader’s Almanac
“Korn’s Amerikan Krazy is a zany, hard-charging, and tasty concoction laced with substantial doses of passionate and legitimate rage regarding the maddening features of contemporary American life combining darkness and hilarity in the manner of David Lynch and Tim Burton.”
-Dr. Spencer C. Olin, Professor Emeritus, History, University of California, Irvine
“Henry James Korn’s novel Amerikan Krazy makes sense out of the absurd conditions of contemporary life. Are prevailing authorities engendering paranoia by manipulating power, spectacle, violence and social status? Does fear assist a disloyal opposition in recovering its sanity? These are among the central questions lurking within this hilarious and hallucinatory post 1984 quest for truth.”
-Martha Wilson, artist and Founding Director, Franklin Furnace
“Amerikan Krazy delivers a fearless, wildly creative, and rollicking ride through an absurd yet painfully familiar landscape of American culture from post-WW II to a not-too-distant future. The novel’s vibrant historical context features the illusions and disillusions of a PTSD-stricken protagonist who vows to tilt at all available windmills, giving us laugh-out-loud moments as well as those of wincing recognition of our culture’s corporate capture. Fueled by passion and driven by a playful rage, the novel smacks ruling-class bastards right proper.”
– Dr. Patricia Hartz, Lecturer and Writing Program Director Emeritus, Department of Humanities, University of California, Irvine
Amerikan Krazy follows in the storied tradition of some of the following works:
- The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey
- Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord
- How to Read Donald Duck by Ariel Dorfman and Armand Mattelart
- Native Tongue by Carl Hiaasen
- Why Are We in Vietnam? by Norman Mailer
- Assassination Rhapsody by Derek Pell
- Civilwarland in Bad Decline by George Saunders
- Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
- A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
Henry James Korn’s books include Amerikan Krazy (2016), Marc Chagall; From the Desk of Dr. Know; Exact Change: Short Fiction; A Difficult Act to Follow: Stories & Essays; and Muhammad Ali Retrospective. Korn has written about art, sports, popular culture, media and history for magazines and newspapers and his stories have been published in fiction anthologies and literary magazines. Korn was awarded a writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
From 2008-13, Korn served as Orange County Great Park principal planning and program development specialist for arts, culture and history where he organized festivals and exhibitions and guided planning for the Palm Court Arts Complex and Great Park Gallery. Korn previously served as Director of the Poway Center for the Performing Arts Foundation; Director of Arts and Culture, City of Beverly Hills; President of Guild Hall of East Hampton (Eastern Long Island’s cultural center); Cultural Affairs Manager for the City of Irvine; Arts Commission Director for the City of Santa Monica; Executive Director, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and Administrator of New York’s Jewish Museum.
Mr. Korn holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Johns Hopkins University where he edited the undergraduate newspaper.