Friday, July 19, 2019

Two Reviews of the Italian version of THE RAPIST


Hi folks,

Just received these reviews of the Italian version of THE RAPIST.


Review by Katia Montanari


Author: Les Edgerton

Translation: Annarita Guarnieri
Publisher: Meridiano Zero
Genre: Romance
Pages: 116
Year of publication: 2019




Synopsis. Forget the hard-boiled, forget the noir, forget everything you think you know about this genre. With a disdainful grin "The Rapist" gets rid of every canonical element and presents something that aspires to be much more than what a single genre can offer. A controlled testimony of misanthropy and disappointment that recalls Dostoevsky's "Memoirs from the Underground". But while the protagonist of the work of the great Russian author feeds on anger, Edgerton's is nourished by a horrible narcissism and an inhuman and bestial nature that peeps out like a stalker through his eloquent language and his grandiose ideas. In this novel based not so much on plot as on narration, Edgerton guides us in the mind of Truman Pinter and leaves us there, alone, to look after ourselves and find the road that will take us out of the darkness. How much of what Truman says we can dismiss as the delusions of a sick mind? And how many times do we have to stop and listen, looking for a glimmer of truth?


Review

"The Rapist" is an excellent novel, partly provocative, sometimes disturbing, which cannot leave you indifferent. The language chosen by the author is highly sought after, almost courtly, deliberately interrupted by outbursts of raw vulgarity that are perceived as high-pitched screams. Truman, the protagonist, tells his story in the first person.
He is a prisoner, sentenced to death for rape and murder waiting for execution on death row. He appears as a pedantic, cultured, wealthy man, lacking in empathy who has an altered and totally personal vision of life and values.
Many things are considered legitimate or not based on our morality and emotion but they would appear differently if analyzed from a purely rational point of view.
His arguments concerning rape, life, death and marriage are extreme and debatable, but even in the passages in which his thought seems delirious, a clear awareness can be seen that gives strength to the true communicative intent of the author.
Through some rhetorical figures and fitting dialogues you will be drawn into the deep abysses of a lucid madness, to the secrets hidden in Truman's unconscious and you will arrive, almost without realizing it, in a strong and meaningful ending.




Les Edgerton


Les Edgerton was born in Odessa, Texas. He served for four years in the United States Navy. Later, he was sentenced to two and a few months for second-degree burglary. Four years after he was released from prison, he attended Indiana University in South Bend, where he was elected President of the student body and was a sports editor for the campus newspaper. He later earned an MFA in writing at Vermont College. He writes short stories, articles, essays, novels and screenplays. Edgerton's works have competed for the Pushcart Award, O. Henry Award, Edgar Allan Poe Award (short story category), Jesse Jones Award, PEN / Faulkner Award, the Derringer Award, and the Violet Crown Book Award.



Les Edgerton - The Rapist

Odoya Publisher Zero Meridian / Out of Series 
Year 2019 
Genre noir 
120 pages - paperback and epub 
Translation by Annarita Guarnieri
"Yes it caused me. Yes she drowned. Yes I could have saved her. No I didn't try to do it "
You are can be depraved and crazy. Violent and misogynistic. Criminals and rapists. Human nature is fallacious due to genetic programming but one cannot be all this and think also clearly to be right, to have grandiose ideas. Or maybe yes because everything is played on morality. And when one is really deprived of it then all the conventions and the judgments fall together, because one can judge a person who makes a mistake not a monster that feeds on his own degenerations.
Who is Truman Pinter? He himself tells us this in a long narrative where the action takes place mainly in the memories of an exalted psychopath who explains his nature never daring to give himself perverse, but only talking about plans. Pinter always has a plan that he first elaborates mentally and then tries to actually put it into practice. Sometimes it fails but when it does it explains it and justifies it by appealing to its own nature and instincts. Kidnap women and make cannon fodder. And even when he is captured and the people of his country, as well as hanging him, he would like to castrate him first so that he can send him to the other world, however crippled, he laughs at us. Truman is angry but also a narcissist and in prison he speaks and tells,
The Rapist can be understood only by reading it from the first to the last page because the term "unsettling" only partially makes what readers find themselves understanding page after page. It is an indefinable novel because it cannot be cataloged in any specific genre. It has echoes of madness of its own and a storyline that when you think it can make you remember another story and another story turns suddenly and changes register. For lovers of long literary monologues it can immediately appear really interesting but after the first enthusiasm of the initial chapters fully understand that the story in pictures is something that goes beyond the same story to lead to a work of introspection that leaves no quiet at all. Reading The Rapist is a real experience where Edgerton seems to have tried one chapter after another without having any initial canvas and at times even carelessly bothering the reader. The pages flow to the bitter end until the same author is no longer able to hold up the monster he created and concludes the story before Truman Pinter engages himself. The result is a hallucinatory novel, something never seen before and that must be read absolutely because even readers sometimes need to close a book thinking that maybe they could not understand everything but that is fine. The pages flow to the bitter end until the same author is no longer able to hold up the monster he created and concludes the story before Truman Pinter engages himself. The result is a hallucinatory novel, something never seen before and that must be read absolutely because even readers sometimes need to close a book thinking that maybe they could not understand everything but that is fine. The pages flow to the bitter end until the same author is no longer able to hold up the monster he created and concludes the story before Truman Pinter engages himself. The result is a hallucinatory novel, something never seen before and that must be read absolutely because even readers sometimes need to close a book thinking that maybe they could not understand everything but that is fine.
Antonia del Sambro
The writer: 
Les Edgerton grew up in Texas and Indiana, serving two years in the Pendleton penitentiary during the 1960s for burglary. The sentence is the result of a plea bargain that has reduced dozens of thefts to a single charge, an armed robbery and a drug dealing accusation. Before this "small problem" Les served for four years in the US Navy as a cryptographer. After obtaining conditional release from Pendleton, Edgerton received his bachelor's degree (with honors) from Indiana University.
Today he is a full-time writer and creative writing teacher. He has published eighteen books in a wide variety of forms: novels, short stories, essays, scripts and writing manuals. One of his most famous works is the Hooked essay: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Them Go. 
The book I prefer is his collection of short stories called Monday's Meal, which received a brilliant review by The New York Times in which Les is compared to Raymond Carver.




Sunday, May 26, 2019

Openings available in our online novel-writing class!


Hi folks,

We’re going to extend the beginning of the next session of our online novel-writing class to next Sunday, June 2. I had a really bad attack of the stomach flu last week, ending up very dehydrated and weak and it’s taken a bit more time than I would have thought it would to recover. I’m getting better, but still need a few days to get back closer to normal. So…

This will also allow those who are contemplating joining us a few extra days to do so.

For details, just read the blog post preceding this one which lays out everything you need to know about class. Basics are the cost of becoming a full class member for our ten-week session is $400. We also have another entrance into class as an auditor, where you sit in class with all of us—see everything we’re doing—but just like an auditorship in an on-ground college course, you don’t actively participate, and the fee for that is only $50. Believe me, that’s a bargain. I’ve had former auditors tell me things like they learned more about novel writing just by watching the class for ten weeks than they did in the entirety of their college experience or even their MFA experience. Plus, it’s the first place we go to when we need to fill vacancies—auditors always get the first shot at joining the class.

It’s very easy to join us. Just email me at butchedgerton@comcast.net and let me know you’re interested and if you have any questions, I’ll be happy to answer them. And, it doesn’t matter where you live—our students come to us from all over the world—from Europe, Asia, the U.S. and just about every country you can imagine. Time zones don’t matter.

Give me a shout!

Blue skies,
Les



Two of the many novelists who wrote their first books in our class--Maegan Beaumont and Linda Thompson. Both now superstars!

One of the texts our class is based on.

We leave politics at the door--all we're concerned with is doing everything we can to help get your novel published and published well.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

OPENINGS IN OUR NEXT CLASS


Hi folks,

Well, we’re just finishing up our final week on the current session of my online novel-writing class, “Les Edgerton’s Bootcamp for Writers,” and find ourselves a couple of openings. Our next session will begin on May 26 and consists of a ten-week session, with the probability of taking a week off sometime during the term to recharge batteries.

This is a call for new class members. Not sure how many openings we’ll have as we offer vacancies first to our auditors.

The basics are the course costs $400 and it’s limited to ten people. The $400 is nonrefundable, as if a person quits during the session it would be impossible to fill that vacancy. As this is my primary source of income, it would be detrimental for myself and my family. It’s very rare that anyone opts out once begun, however. In over five years, there have only been two.

We’ve had a remarkable history of success. Nearly three dozen writers over the past dozen years who has become a part of our class or whom I’ve coached privately has gone on to being legitimately published and/or secured a good literary agent. In fact, that is our only goal—to become legitimately published.

I try to warn people who are thinking of joining us, how tough the class is, but I know from past experience that even so forewarned, at least some are going to be in for a shock when they see that we really don’t hold hands, pat people on the back for minimum efforts, or overlook writing that doesn’t work. I’m not cruel (at least I don’t think so) nor are any of the oldtimers in class, but most new folks haven’t been exposed to a class like ours. The truth is, most writers who haven’t had a class like ours has been praised in other classes or most likely, has been in classes that use the “sandwich” method of teaching. You know—that deal where the teach applies a bit of praise, then a bit of criticism, and then a bit of praise. Well, that ain’t our shtick. Not even close. The comments we all provide on everyone’s work fit one definition only. They’re honest.
This isn’t to be mean or to act like we’re the only folks around who know what good writing is. Except… we do. I’m not aware of any other class out there with the kind of track record ours enjoys. Virtually every writer who stays the course with us ends up with a top agent and/or a book deal. That doesn’t happen in a single ten-week session. About the earliest anyone has earned an agent or book deal in our class has been about a year. And, that’s reasonable.
The thing is, our writers don’t expect things to be easy.


Some of our class meet up in 
Scottsdale to celebrate classmate Maegan Beaumont's first published novel.

I figured I’d let some of the class members give you their take on our class. They don’t hold back and they all have tough skins. They will all tell you the same thing. It isn’t a class for sissies or for those who need their hands held or lots of pats on the back. Becoming published is hard, hard work and isn’t an undertaking for sissies. To get there, our students know they have to put on their Big Boy and Big Girl pants and expect to work harder than they ever have in their lives—and to never, ever “settle” their standards of excellence.

From a student several years ago:
Hi ________. Since Les opened the floor for comments from the "class veterans" I'm chipping in with my two cents. I have a file cabinet filled with stuff I sent Les and then needed asbestos gloves to take the paper off the printer. When I started this journey, I'd never taken an English class past high school. (I was pre-med in college) I figured I love to read, so how hard can it be? Okay, quit laughing at me. Clearly, when I wrote my first version of my first novel, I had no idea about story structure, POV, any of that. I figured I'm pretty articulate and therefore I can write?
Les quickly set me straight. All of this is to point out that we've all been on the receiving end of Les' brutal honesty. I will find some of the comments he made on my work and post them but phrases like "throwing up in my mouth now" and "bury this so deep in the yard no one ever finds it" are seared into my brain and I don't have to look to find those!!! The point is, I took other classes before I met Les and the teachers were kind and gentle and never told me I sucked. If it weren't for Les, I'd still be churning out awful drivel that makes people want to throw up instead of trying not to throw up while I wait to see if my agent is able to sell my book. I would never have gotten an agent without Les. So hang in there. Listen to everything he says and if it doesn't make sense, ask away.

From another student:
The novel that I am currently trying to sell has been a work in progress for several years. The first time Les saw it he sent it back and told me to re-write the WHOLE thing!!! My character was a wimp. She sat back and let things happen to her. I argued a little, rewrote a little and then moved on to another book. After a year, I went back and reread it and saw the truth. It was awful. So I took a deep breath and started over. Page one. First sentence. Re-wrote the entire thing. It took a full year and then I revised it again. It's definitely a process. But once you get the inciting incident and the outline steps down pat, it's a whole lot easier. Trust me!!! And you'll never graduate completely. A few months ago, Les and I went head-to-head on one single passage. I was trying to be lazy and take the easy way out. He called me on it and I resubmitted three or four weeks in a row, revisions on the same passage. I was sure my classmates were so sick of it they were going to stick needles in their eyes rather than read it again! But in the end, the passage rocked!! So hang in there!!!! It'll get better. (Note: This novel sold and the writer is currently working on her fifth novel.)

Class members come from all over the globe. We’ve had students from the UK, Ireland, Taiwan, Spain, all parts of the U.S., Canada, Australia, Luxembourg and many other places. We work with writers in virtually every genre on the bookshelves.

The way class works is that the class is divided into two equal groups. We used to have just one group, but it got to be too much for many students. In the past, everybody in the class was required to read everybody else’s work each week and provide in-depth comments on everyone’s work. That meant they had to read nine other class members’ work and deliver intelligent commentary on each one. We’ve since evolved to a more manageable number where now each class member reads and delivers comments on just four other classmates’ work. I provide comments on everybody’s work and that’s why the class is limited to only ten. With ten writers, I can give each person the quality of time and analysis each deserves.

Each week begins on Sunday evening, when people can begin submitting their weekly pages from Sunday until Thursday. If it’s a new writer to the class, they are allowed to submit their first five pages of their novel, plus an outline which consists of five statements and a total of 15-20 words. Oldtimers in class call this “inciting incident hell.” If the outline isn’t working and their beginning doesn’t represent the inciting incident as provided in their outline, they are required to keep submitting each week until it does. Our feeling is if they haven’t thought through their novels sufficiently and provided a publishable novel structure (evidenced by the outline), then they most likely don’t have a novel ready to be written and to simply plunge ahead will almost invariably lead to an unfinished novel. We don’t want that.

Once they’ve been okayed for the beginning, from thereafter they can submit up to eight pages per week, along with the others in class.

Time zones don’t matter. Everybody’s work, including everyone’s comments and my own comments on each person’s work each week is posted on the class site and folks can go to it any time of the day or night. Class members can begin sending back their comments on each others’ in their group from Sunday through the following Sunday, when it begins again. Although, in practicality, most members send in their work each week on Wednesdays and Thursdays. It’s like being in an “on-ground” class in that everything said or done in class is seen by everybody.

We do have a chat function and people use it all the time, even though they’re in different time zones. One of the best things about this class is that we have lots of oldtimers who know from their own experience what works in a novel and what doesn’t and more importantly… why it works or doesn’t work. It’s like having a group of seven or eight other professionals helping you with your own novel. Probably at any given time in class, there will be four or five who already have had a novel or several published as a result of being in class, so it’s a really rarefied group. And, if you think that you couldn’t operate in a situation like this because you’re a beginner, that simply isn’t the case here at all. Nearly every single person in each class began just the way you did, as a rank beginner. And, they remember and they have complete empathy for your situation, if you’re a beginning writer.

It’s not a situation of simply saying, “This doesn’t work.” Myself and others in class will surely say that, but we then let you know why it didn’t work and give you solid suggestions on how to make it work. We collectively have a nurturing nature and all of us want the newcomer to succeed just about as badly as that writer wants to.

If you are still interested but still feel intimidated, I think if you simply look at how the class works, you’ll quickly see how you’ll fit in comfortably. Since we’ve got one week left in class, for anyone who would like to see up close and personal how we work as a class, I’d be delighted to give you auditor status for our last week. Besides class members, we also have an auditor function which works the same as it does in a “regular” college class. You’re admitted to class and can view every single thing we’re doing and the entire class session is archived and easy to access. Normally, the cost of auditing the class is $50, but for our last week, for those interested in simply getting a look at how we work, just email me at butchedgerton@comcast.net and let me know and I’ll have our class administrator, Holly, get you on board asap.

If you're interested but don't feel you're ready to begin writing your novel, we also offer the opportunity to audit class for $50.00. It works the same as auditing a regular college class on the ground. You sit in on the class and see everything we do--you just don't actively participate. It's a valuable experience as most of the things the writers in class experience are the same problems every writer faces. It's also a great way to see how we work and make entering a future session much more comfortable. Just contact me at butchedgerton@comcast.net and we'll get you on board. I've had countless participants tell me it was an extraordinary experience for them. One guy told me he'd learned more about how to structure and write a novel in just ten weeks of observing our class in action than he had during his MFA years. That's probably because we're teaching actual writing techniques that work and nothing on contemplating our navels...

I know there are no doubt a lot of questions you may have. Please feel free to contact me at any time and ask me anything you’d like.

From past experience, when we’ve had openings like this, they go quickly, so if you are interested, please get in touch, okay?

For those interested in such things, here are a few of my own qualifications to teach writing.

MFA in Writing from Vermont College
Taught writing for the UCLA Writer’s Program
Taught writing via Skype for the New York Writer’s Workshop
Writer-in-Residence for three years for the University of Toledo
Writer-in-Residence for one year for Trine University
Taught writing classes for St. Francis University
Taught writing classes for Phoenix College
Taught writing for Writer’s Digest Online Classes
Taught writing classes for Vermont College
Published 20+ books, including craft books on writing, novels, sports books, YA novel, historical nonfiction book, humor nonfiction, black comedy novel, noir, thrillers, memoir, literary and existential fiction.
Dozens of short stories published in such publications as The South Carolina Review, High Plains Literary Review, Aethlon, Flatmancrooked, Murdaland, Best American Mystery Stories and many others.
A lot of living… much of it as an outlaw…

Blue skies,
Les




Monday, April 8, 2019

MIRROR, MIRROR IS OUT TODAY

Hi folks,

Today my YA novel, Mirror, Mirror, is for sale at all the usual online outlets. This is a reissue with a new cover.

Order link: https://www.amazon.com/Mirror-Edgerton-ebook/dp/B07PMKLQLH/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=mirror%2Cmirror+by+les+edgerton&qid=1554737153&s=digital-text&sr=1-1-catcorr


Hope you enjoy the read. It was a lot of fun writing it for my daughter.

Blue skies,
Les

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

WRITER'S DIGEST DECLARING BANKRUPTCY!

Hi folks,

Got some bad news for me and probably a lot of others. Just got a letter yesterday notifying me that F&W Publications--the owners of Writer's Digest Books is declaring bankruptcy. I did my part--sold out all the copies of Finding Your Voice and enjoying strong sales, year after year, of Hooked. Don't know what I'm going to do about Hooked. Any suggestions would be greatly welcomed!

This is the second time this has happened to me with my books. The first was with the publisher who published my hairstyling and business books--I was enjoying regular annual royalties of about $5,000 a year when they went under. They sold, year after year. That really sucked. So will this!

When WR sold out of Finding Your Voice, my then-agent Chip MacGregor took my reverted rights and self-published it for me. It's done well since. I don't know what I'll do with Hooked--asked my current agent her advice if we should seek out a new publisher or do what I did with Voice.

This business! Wish I'd stayed with something steadier like playing the ponies...




Blue skies,
Les

Monday, March 18, 2019

MIRROR, MIRROR by Les Edgerton

MIRROR, MIRROR by Les Edgerton: PRE-ORDER NOW! Available 04/08/2019. MIRROR, MIRROR by Les Edgerton (April 2019) • Trade Paperback (ISBN-13: 978-1-948235-77-8) — $10.95 includes FREE digital formats! • eBook Formats — $4.99 SPECI…