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Krakow Melt: “Don’t Fall In Love With Fires, Start Them”

October 2, 2010

Krakow Melt
by Daniel Allen Cox
Arsenal Pulp Press
176 pp., $15.95

My mother reads books backwards and if what she reads intrigues her she’ll give the beginning a try. I read the first line, the last line and something picked at random from the middle, and if these decontextualized sentences tug at something inside me there’s a good chance I’ll pick up that particular book and add it to my “to read” list.

Yes, you heard me right, I’ll read the last line. There’s no need to gasp, you can close your jaw now. And no, it doesn’t ruin the story. Last lines very rarely give anything away concerning plot and without the context of a story to back them up, they’re not easy to remember. What they do hint at, though, is the aesthetic of a book, whether I’ll like the style or not. I knew I would like Krakow Melt from it’s very first line: “Krakow is crows. Big, floppy ones.” Actually the first paragraph is pretty golden as far as I’m concerned.

Krakow is crows. Big, floppy ones. I don’t live in the city center but in Nowa Huta, a suburb a few kilometers east. We can still hear them sqawking from far away, yammering on about the histories. I do a bit of that myself.

You gotta love a narrator that likes to yammer on about the histories. You gotta love a writer who likes storytelling and Daniel Allen Cox is definitely versed in the art of telling a good story. I read the first half of Krakow Melt’s 176 pages without taking as much as a breath. The relationship that develops between its too main characters Radek and Dorota reads like a love story for the queer at heart.

From Radek with love:

A book lures you into a state of bodily comfort and then, once your limbs are placed just right, finger-fucks your insides. I wanted to be the book, stretching her open a little wider with every pithy sentence.

From Dorota with love:

My vagina wasn’t going to stand for invisibility. I lurched forward and fucked Radek’s nose, smothering him with my labia. Ekstra, I thought. His tongue knows what to look for and doesn’t take long to find it. His tongue, in fact, was radically fudging up the gay community’s spit-shined image of boy-on-boy, girl-on-girl. Bisexual stigma, lost right up my cunt.

Krakow might be crows, but it’s also a place where straight girls can be queer and gay men aren’t afraid of cunts. Just the kind of story that’s easy to fall in love with and I haven’t even mentioned the dragons, fire and parkour. What more could you ask for?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 3, 2010 5:19 am

    Oh WOW this book looks amazing! I am going to read it now.

    ‘a place where straight girls can be queer and gay men aren’t afraid of cunts’,,, that is where I want to live!

  2. October 3, 2010 11:39 am

    Most people are unaware that on the same day as the Great Chicago Fire, Oct. 8th, 1871, there were four other major fires across the upper Midwest. The worst was centered in and near Peshtigo, Wisconsin and killed between 1,200 and 2,500 people.

  3. October 3, 2010 3:29 pm

    @Quiet Riot Girl: Get it! It’s a pretty great book. I’m pretty sure it’s right up your alley.

    @Brian: Incidentally, the chicago fire has a cameo in Krakow Melt. Radek, the male protagonist of the story, is an artist that make miniature installation of major fires. The book is rife with plenty of interesting tidbits about fire and fires.


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