Wednesday, December 23, 2015


...(Warning: I do a lot of bragging in this post, but man it’s really nice to see my book have some legs to it)

…I did a podcast with Karen Stefano, author of The Secret Games of Words, and we talked about our books, writing and other stuff:

…I had this poem up at Unscooped Bagel:

…And I had some five star reviews of my book, The Last Sunshine, up at Good Reads:

     --Dark Sunshine is the perfect name for Len Kuntz’ haunting collection of flash fiction. Equal parts despair and hope, this combination creates a cocktail that will leave you heartsick and Kuntz is the kind of writer who knows how to break your heart gently. He illuminates the soft horror of life alongside the exquisite—shows us the beautiful juxtaposed with the scars—takes us into the agony of human souls while leaving a sliver of light, a window cracked into humanity’s redemption. He understands the human contradiction and writes with a deep sensitivity to our fatal flaws as well as our breathtaking capacity for goodness and joy. These stories will haunt you long after you close the book.” -- Nancy Stohlman, author of The Monster Ball

      --“These flashes are live wires, 220 volts not 110. No wait, that's not enough. 115 kV. These are high grade transmission lines and rather than jumping back I immediately want to jump right in. Each is so perfectly done as to pack pages and pages of story into the tiniest of spaces, but what's more interesting is the amount of surprise Kuntz can work in there as well. What came next was always a revelation, often dark but often also funny, touching, and more. The microcosm really does replicate the macrocosm. Extremely good stuff, and a delight to read.” --David

      --“A lightning storm. Turbulence. Chaos. The plane touches down safely, but none of the passengers will ever be the same. And the narrator realizes how thin is the line between hope and despair, life and death, the physical world and what may or may not lie beyond. All in two pages. I'm in awe these stories, which - like the story I was describing, "Turbulence" - not just suggest, but create meaning. And by meaning, I don't mean just lofty thoughts. I mean the sort of meaning that leaves its mark: that pitch perfect combination of deep feeling and deep thought that I dig so much in literary fiction. I want to feel my thoughts, and think my feelings. This collection delivers that experience.” --Ross McKeekin

     --“A great book.

If this review was written in the style of the Dark Sunshine, it would be incredibly concise, dark (of course), expansive in use of both imagination and pulse. Instead, this review is going to amble along, crash into walls, smile too much. This review will have wasted words, The Dark Sunshine doesn't have a wasted word, letter, even a wasted comma.

I feel good after completing Len Kuntz's collection of pitch perfect flash fiction, like I just attended a workshop. It's the kind of writing that reads like an instruction manual on 'how to master brevity', 'how to flesh out entire worlds in the narrowest footprint possible', 'how to introduce a protagonist/antagonist you'll never forget in the same space as a 120 character Twitter transmission.'

The collection seems prototypical, as Howie Good puts it in the blurb on the back of the book, "Len Kuntz's flash fiction is everything flash fiction should aspire to be--surreal, macabre, humorous ..."

He's damn right about all that.

Dark Sunshine has a thread running down the middle: the tread is a l'm uneasy, a dysfunction, a mysterious problem--but it is not just between a man and a woman, or the children; it's beyond the house and its domestic troubles, it's the town too and the strange neighbors, cops and therapists; there's an existential crisis stretching over the entire globe, wrapping around this universe, and alternate universes, planes of existence. It's all troubled.

Okay, before we get any farther with all the darkness, doom and warranted pessimism--I should tell you something, Len Kuntz is incredibly funny. His comedic timing is startling. These are jokes that we might be laughing at in self-defense, but the good news is, Kuntz has mastered minimalism so well, we can't be sure anyway if we're the brunt of the joke. Often it's society at large, the way we look at things wrong, the way we fail at loving each other.

The joy in this book lies in the simple things, the smallest factors, that somehow shine the brightest. It comes down to how fresh the characters are. They are very much alive on the page, reacting to their various situations, completely unpredictably.” –Bud Smith, author of F-250

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