Charles's picture
Charles from Portland is reading Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones October 16, 2011 - 11:53am

'Stay God' by Nik Korpon

'Stay God' by Nik KorponSynopsis: Damon lives a content life, playing video games and dealing drugs from his second-hand store while his girlfriend, Mary, drops constant hints about marriage. If only he could tell her his name isn't really Damon. If only he could tell her who he really is. But after he witnesses a friend's murder, a scarlet woman glides into his life, offering the solution to all of his problems. His carefully constructed existence soon shatters like crystal teardrops and he must determine which ghosts won't stay buried-and which ones are trying to kill him-if he wants to learn why Mary has disappeared. (Amazon.com)

About The Author: Nik Korpon is the author of STAY GOD, OLD GHOSTS, BY THE NAILS OF THE WARPRIEST and BALTIMORE STORIES: VOLUMES ONE and TWO. His stories have bloodied the pages and screens of Crime Factory, Shotgun Honey, 3:AM, Out of the Gutter, Everyday Genius, Speedloader, Warmed&Bound and a bunch more. He is an editor for Dirty Noir and Rotten Leaves, and reviews books for Spinetingler, NoirJournal and The Nervous Breakdown. He also co-hosts LAST SUNDAY, LAST RITES, a monthly reading series. He lives in Baltimore. (author's official site)

It has begun... but there are guidlines to this thing.

It is not just a breakneck race to the finish of Nik's book. So here's what's going to happen. I assume we are all adults, so I am keeping this as simple as it can be. Be advised though, that I am not the only power overseeing this, and these guidelines are subject to change.

  • The book should be read by the 12th of November. You can start it now, if you like.
  • The discussion can start on the 13th, because we are making the assumption that people should be done with it by the 12th.
  • Still, for those people who might not be finished, do kindly denote any and all possible spoilers clearly, and in advance.
  • Let's all have a polite discussion of a great book, with a great author, and start all this off on the right foot.

Buy Stay God from Amazon.com

justkristin's picture
justkristin from the basement is reading whatever is within reach October 17, 2011 - 3:07pm

The kindle version is $2.99 at the moment... Helpful if you are a bit in a bind at the moment. :)

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz October 17, 2011 - 6:46pm

Can't have him sign that though...well Chuck will disagree, won't you Chuck? I do have a Kindle but...and true, in a bind it will buy you a ticket to the club.

I wonder if Powell's has it? I hate giving Amazon fucking money.

They do...hardcover. Buyin' that:

http://www.powells.com/s?kw=Stay+God+by+Nik+Korpon&class=

Nav Persona's picture
Nav Persona from Purgatory is reading The Babayaga October 17, 2011 - 8:02pm

Kindlegraph and MyWrite - digital autographs for ebooks. Not *quite* as cool as ink & paper, but...

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz October 17, 2011 - 8:31pm

I know. Not anywhere near it. Never will be. Like sexting compared to getting laid.

fummeltunte's picture
fummeltunte from Seattle is reading The Left Hand of Darkness October 18, 2011 - 5:54am

Thanks for the heads up Kristin. Would love a book to scribble on, but I am brooooooke right now. :D

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. October 18, 2011 - 6:58am

I got the kindle version and I have read the first 2 chapters so far.  It's interesting.   

 

SPOILER

Freddy Krueger could totally beat Wolverine lol

Charles's picture
Charles from Portland is reading Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones October 18, 2011 - 10:29am

@chester: im for people joining the book club. kindle or not. i have a reader for books i dont care enough about to put on my bookshelf, such as required reading, text books, reference texts, and book club books.

nothing will take the place of my book collection in many ways, but i have quite a few editions of things that will never be valuable, signed etc. and many things i wont read in the condition i have them (see also: signed, valuable) and other things that just arent practical to take with me everywhere (MATTERHORN, for instance is a 600+ page book) so, what im saying is: there are reasons, and good ones to have a reader, but i disagree with the technology, and its potential for censorship.

 

EDIT: i too have the hardcover. the binding on it is super tight. beautiful edition. i only hope that one day my work is bound in such a lovely fashion.

Flaminia Ferina's picture
Flaminia Ferina from Umbria is reading stuff October 18, 2011 - 11:30am

Easy with those spoilers, guys. I'll be the last to read it: book is shipping all the way from the US.   ..zzZZZzzZZzzz..

And btw @aliensoul77: Krueger sux pubic hairs, Wolverine rocks the feral world :D

How far off-topic will we go before the 13th?

Pete's picture
Pete from Detroit is reading Red Dragon October 18, 2011 - 1:31pm

I would like to see this thread stay on topic as much as possible.  ;)

Charles's picture
Charles from Portland is reading Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones October 18, 2011 - 3:14pm

indeed. sorry pete

Pete's picture
Pete from Detroit is reading Red Dragon October 18, 2011 - 6:25pm

Oh, the kindle talk was discussing the electronic version of his book.  I wasn't saying anything negative about the posts in here so far.  I was just answering flaminia_klla's question.

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz October 18, 2011 - 6:32pm

@Pete, but there isn't a topic to stay on yet, so why not discuss whether or not Wolverine shaves his ass? I mean once the club actually starts I will be the first to stay on subject, but until then we should be allowed to fill the dead air with misquips. No?

Stuart Gibbel's picture
Stuart Gibbel from California is reading Angel Falls by Michael Paul Gonzalez October 20, 2011 - 9:06pm

Just started reading. Can't wait for the discussion.  

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. October 22, 2011 - 1:40pm

Actually the Freddy Krueger/Wolverine thing was from the book.  The two guys in the record store debate about it. 

Flaminia Ferina's picture
Flaminia Ferina from Umbria is reading stuff October 22, 2011 - 3:26pm

A-ha! 

Holy me, da book is not here yet! I'm dying of curiosity. Gimme morphine. Now.

Charles's picture
Charles from Portland is reading Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones October 23, 2011 - 12:04pm

@kila: at this point, i would suggest getting the kindle version and the free PC ap. its only three USD, and you'll get to start reading.

Flaminia Ferina's picture
Flaminia Ferina from Umbria is reading stuff October 23, 2011 - 2:08pm

@Charles, yes that would be better but I cannot spend too much time reading from the computer: it's a crappy one and the screen makes my eyes sore. I also have no credit card so I cannot buy ebooks. I want to buy a tablet though, and find a way to get ebooks without c card. It's gonna be my new year resolution. Problem is I love paper books, so it will be a slow process my reading digitalization. Once I have the book I'm sure I can read it before november 13th. Pretty sure.

And if you write SPOILER I'll not read below this time. Promise.

Adam's picture
Adam from Denver is reading books... October 23, 2011 - 10:21pm

Ok, ok, just got the book... Excited to get reading!

.'s picture
. October 23, 2011 - 10:53pm

I wish we could be used car salesman and lobby the writers at the velvet to pop in over here more often. 

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. October 23, 2011 - 11:56pm

Tell them there is free cookies and um, literary stuff.

NikKorpon's picture
NikKorpon from Baltimore is reading Book and books and books and October 24, 2011 - 11:49am

Spoiler:

Chester is right.

Krueger for President!

 

You lot make me blush.

Flaminia Ferina's picture
Flaminia Ferina from Umbria is reading stuff October 24, 2011 - 12:09pm

Shoot, I read SPOILER but it computes COOKIES IF YOU READ.

Hi Nik Korpon, pleased to meet you.

And Chester may be right but I don't think that Wolverine shaves his ass. Now that I see his wifebeater pictures though.. I thought he was chest and back hairier.

Liana's picture
Liana from Romania and Texas is reading Naked Lunch October 24, 2011 - 2:27pm

I have the book and I'm not even missing a finger!

.'s picture
. October 24, 2011 - 11:43pm

Nice to meet you Nik.

The book is awesome so far. Yeah theres my input guys, more to come :) 

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. October 25, 2011 - 12:34pm
SPOILER, SPOILER, BUNNY BOILER...

 

Selling drugs in cd cases.  I think I just found my new business venture.  jk

Instag8r's picture
Instag8r from Residing in Parker, CO but originally from WV is reading Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy October 26, 2011 - 7:28am

Got my copy in the mail yesterday. Will probably start reading it tonight.

 

EdVaughn's picture
EdVaughn from Louisville, Ky is reading a whole bunch of different stuff October 26, 2011 - 6:07pm

Starting reading this today. Been looking forward to this for a while.

.'s picture
. October 26, 2011 - 6:25pm

Yay someone else from louisville. I've read half the book so far and it's great. Nik can really turn up the suspense and paranoia while adding his trivial humor to it.

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz October 27, 2011 - 8:21pm

Did I see Korp popped in? Nice. 

NikKorpon's picture
NikKorpon from Baltimore is reading Book and books and books and October 28, 2011 - 3:59am

@Aliensoul- Using CDs to sell drugs seems so intuitive, now that I've already written it, but there were so many boner ideas for the economy I came up with before hitting on CDs. Would've gotten him picked up in a twenty minutes, even by Baltimore's PD.

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz October 28, 2011 - 6:41am

Nik, 

Chuck was right, your hardcopy is beautifully bound. I'm glad I picked one up. Someday I will need to get it signed in person. Just warning you for when a stalkery frenzied guy comes at you with a sharpie.

Flaminia Ferina's picture
Flaminia Ferina from Umbria is reading stuff October 28, 2011 - 1:16pm

Yes, I am the proud possessoress of a Korpon original. Starting to read Stay God in 

3.. 2.. 1..

Stuart Gibbel's picture
Stuart Gibbel from California is reading Angel Falls by Michael Paul Gonzalez November 1, 2011 - 9:41am

Finshed. Not planning to visit Baltimore in the near future. 

wickedvoodoo's picture
wickedvoodoo from Mansfield, England is reading stuff. November 2, 2011 - 4:09am

Yeah - Baltimore sounds like a great place for the noir. Nik makes it sound delightful. The short story collection about the place that he released is good too.

It's really cool to see so many people reading up for the book club. Can't wait for the discussion to start up properly now.

EdVaughn's picture
EdVaughn from Louisville, Ky is reading a whole bunch of different stuff November 3, 2011 - 7:50pm

A little more than halfway through now. It's good. I really like Nik's writing style. He writes exactly the kind of stuff I like to read. Hoping to finish it over the weekend.

finnickyp's picture
finnickyp from Grand Rapids, MI is reading Stay God November 7, 2011 - 6:57pm

I actually picked up Stay God a few months ago. I'm a lurker at The Velvet, so that is how I heard about it. Just started reading it a few days ago and haven't been able to put it down since. Should be done tonight, in fact. Who needs quality sleep anyways?

I checked out Nik Korpon's website and the first thing up told me to come and check out this site... and because I shamelessly do whatever I am told, that is exactly what I did. So here I am, conveniently reading the book you are all about to discuss. Looking forward to it!

And just in case Nik pops back in here, I just have to say I love your book! "Warpriest" will be ordered within the next few days-- in fact, I am going to order it right now. "Stay God" will definitely be recommended to my friends. Keep up the good work dude.

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz November 9, 2011 - 7:51am

I need another Listen just to get outta bed in the morning.

Flaminia Ferina's picture
Flaminia Ferina from Umbria is reading stuff November 10, 2011 - 3:34pm

 

I´m loving your novel Nik Korpon! Sailing towards the end like on a trippy ocean.

 

 

SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER

Gotcha! You read it too. Hah.

NotMarilyn's picture
NotMarilyn from Twin Cities, MN is reading Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn November 11, 2011 - 1:11pm

I just joined LitReactor so this should be a nice challenge - read an entire book in an evening. Who needs sleep? I'm hoping I can finish in time to take part in the discussion.

Pete's picture
Pete from Detroit is reading Red Dragon November 11, 2011 - 1:51pm

If you don't finish by tomorrow or whatever - you can still participate.  lol

Jackie Treehorn's picture
Jackie Treehorn from North Carolina November 11, 2011 - 4:20pm

Maybe spoilers?- be warned!!!

Great story.  Had minor trouble with Mary's motivation at the end, but overall loved it.

Back to the main idea of the story (/sarcasm): It really depends on the situation.  Freddie controls the dream world (forget Elm St 3- it's garbage), so if Weapon X falls asleep (as he must at some point), he's fucked.  If he can somehow pull Mr. Kruger into the 'real' world, my money's on Wolverine for the rage factor alone.

Liana's picture
Liana from Romania and Texas is reading Naked Lunch November 11, 2011 - 8:21pm

If Nik Korpon reads these discussions, then can we be completely comfortable writing about the book? Hmmm..... Nah, I like it! Haven't finished.

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. November 11, 2011 - 11:15pm

raises fists to Jackie, those are fighting words!  I love part 3 of nightmare.  Nancy returns and then dies.  Plus snake freddy, TV freddy, puppetmaster freddy.  Come on!

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz November 12, 2011 - 10:50am

.'s picture
. November 12, 2011 - 1:37pm

I remember my days of living off chinese take out and too many lines. 

Charles's picture
Charles from Portland is reading Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones November 12, 2011 - 6:05pm

yeah, dont worry if you dont finish. everyone is welcome, even if they didnt read it, in my opinion.

Charles's picture
Charles from Portland is reading Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones November 13, 2011 - 4:26pm

no discussion yet?

let's start with the style, maybe? it's like reading tuaca, or something of a similar nature. it's thick, and goes down slow, but is warm and comfortable. it's a challenge in my opinion to hit that level of detail without looking like a show-off, or boring your reader. nik hits a good balance of over the top voice and readability. definitely stands out from anything i have read in a couple years...

your three cents?

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz November 13, 2011 - 6:25pm

I found Nik's prose on the whole to be fluid, clear and easy to read with enough experimentation stylistically and linguistically to keep things interesting without (like you said Chuck) 'going over-the-top.' 

One thing I liked about Damon is that he was a relatively intelligent guy, as Nik's exposition detailed. His vocabulary was that of an educated, well-read man and that came through in Damon's character. 

Early on and throughout the book, Nik regularly injects the prose with lines like:

The dying sun bleeds through a splinter crack in the middle of the door.

 

The footsteps slink quiet, bulls with slippers.

 

And I loved this image:

He spoke into his fingertips like they might be microphones.

 

 

 

Flaminia Ferina's picture
Flaminia Ferina from Umbria is reading stuff November 14, 2011 - 9:27am

WARNING ---- SPOILER ALERT ---- WARNING ---- SPOILER ALERT

I loved Stay Go d's voice, it's colorful. Never boring, that's for sure. Though yeah, a bit difficult sometimes, it didn't matter: plot and settings were realistic, and there was so much action (without being dull or lacking poetics and sensitivity) that I just fell absorbed in those pages, finding the read extremely pleasurable.

For one, I especially liked the relation between Damon and Mary: it sounded real, not idealized, with real couples' issues, arguments, doubts, and still a shitload of love. I actually suspected a lot about Mary, the whole time. I thought she could be involved with Hobbs more than Damon ever imagined. Well played, Nik Korpon.

And the whole hallucinatory cavalcade in Christian's apartment, that was just great. I got lost so many times, I must thank Mr Korpon for the 'Duran Duran' - 'blink - experience that transpired from those pages. I've never been a coco addict, but I've heard stories of people seeing dwarves, or crocodiles on a leash.. I'm sure the right impression has been nailed in our novel here.

.'s picture
. November 14, 2011 - 12:39pm

MINOR SPOILERS

Okay so let's take a look back. We got our first kiss, we got laid, we got a job, our own place, got married, possible got divorced. Somewhere in there you seen "The Silence Of the Lambs." A milestone in your life wheather you think it was or not. Maybe the same could be said about "The Shining or almost any Oliver Stone movie." Back to the Silence of The Lambs. Jodie Foster is the hard nosed rookie agent and the characters from the book are displayed pretty well on screen. Towards the end of the movie Jodie Foster let's down her guard and Hannibal is already in her head. Hannibal is already in our heads. Talking softly with his eyes half closed, talking to us through the camera. He finally gets to the root of Jodie Foster's like turning moment and she spills it out. We almost don't want to hear it...but we do of course. The lamb getting stuck in the barbed wire. She slowly builds the tension and it's a back and fourth with Anthony Hopkins until our mind's our blown.  

Korpan's Stay God is a strange trip much like Silence Of the Lambs. We get sucked into the story and before we know it, were so deep into the story that all we can do is ride it out with the characters. It's not often that a book or movie can make you "feel" in the sense of more than just empathy for the protagonist. What are we feeling when were reading Stay God or watching Silence of The Lambs or Natural Born Killers. Maybe it's paranoia and tension thats been cranked up to a fast pace but the roller coaster ride feels like it will never end. We can't just get off the ride early can we? Thats my more PG analogy, I could have related to a strong psychedelic trip. Maybe a psychedelic roller coaster ride. I tend to get off track. I hope your still following.

The words in the page don't paint a picture of Anthony Hopkins' looking at us and make us hear a story about a sheep getting stuck in barbed wire. The story does do something though. It sets a familiar scene. The feeling of paranoia creeps into us. Were left feeling abandoned to go through the haunted house by ourselves. Like Chuck said, he uses his descriptions and words very well without coming off as show-offy. It's actually very subtle writing and careful too. This is what draws us in and drops a nuke on our brain. I enjoyed Stay God as much as a Kubrick or Stone movie. Or even a Anthony Hopkins movie.

On a different note, I felt it hard to feel sympathetic for Mary like I did Damon. Not the entire time anyway. I realized that she was important for Damon in the sense that he could run a successful business and not hurt everyone around him. This also contributed and contrasted to Damon's character though, building him to such a great character. I haven't finished the book, I've got a few chapters to go but I've picked up from the other post's that Mary's intentions are questionable and we can infer that this isn't a surprise it would be her screwing with Damon's mind.

The paranoia in Stay Gold as opposed to Silence Of The Lambs is this: I was reminded a lot of Dermaphoria. Which only raises my respect for the writing.

I hope this gets the discussion going a little more. I've never done a book club before.