Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« Seven Words You Can't Say on T... | You want more Jonathan Horton? »

Monday, June 23, 2008

Lunch Date: Girl Factory

posted by on June 23 at 12:00 PM


(A few times a week, I take a new book with me to lunch and give it a half an hour or so to grab my attention. Lunch Date is my judgment on that speed-dating experience.)

Who’s your date today? Girl Factory, by Jim Krusoe

Where’d you go? Bleu Bistro.

What’d you eat? Macaroni and cheese ($7.99) with the optional Caesar salad ($2.99).

How was the food? It was really good. The macaroni and cheese was more like a baked ziti, only without any red sauce. The top was crunchy and the bottom was goopy, just the way I like, and the cheese was a nice sharp cheddar. The salad was, you know, Caesar-y and good. The whole thing came with three good pieces of not-too-garlicky-for-lunch garlic toast. I always forget about Bleu Bistro, and whenever I go inside I have to fight a momentary fear of the cramped booths in the place going up in flames, but I’ve never been disappointed by the food.

What does your date say about itself? This is the newest novel by the author of the amazing debut novel Iceland. If you have a good tolerance for quirky, sad writing, Iceland is something that you really need to read; it’s about how we make more of our memories than other people do. Reading that book was such a grand experience that I’m afraid to re-read it. I recall the pleasurable feeling of reading it almost more than I remember the actual words that I read. Girl Factory is about a man who works at a frozen yogurt store in a strip mall owned by a man named Spinner. Spinner is doing something weird in the basement. Also, there’s a hyperintelligent, chess-playing dog running around

Is there a representative quote? “This was the first time ever that Spinner had trusted me with the keys to Mister Twisty’s, but at any rate I was feeling very tired myself, and for some reason, a little sad also. From the basement I could hear the hum of the giant cooling machines as I sprayed a little Windex on the counters to wipe away the stickiness, and rubbed down the swirl machines with chrome cleaner. And I was just about to go home when I heard, or thought I heard, a difference in the intensity of sound coming from below me…It was probably nothing, but just suppose there was some kind of a malfunction in the equipment downstairs, or even one of the old guys had had a heart attack and fallen into the machinery. We never really kept track of who went down and who came back up, and for all I know there might be someone down there, dying this very minute. I knew that Spinner had said he’d been working on the equipment a few weeks earlier, but I also knew that he had told me once, when I first began to work there, never to go down to the basement for any reason at all.”

Will you two end up in bed together? Yes. It might not be as miraculous as Iceland—and it would be unfair to expect that of a second novel—I’m intrigued and ready for the book to get really weird. Whether it gets sad will remain to be seen.

RSS icon Comments


Jim Krusoe is awesome. He taught my favorite creative writing class. You should check out Blood Lake, his pre-Iceland short story anthology.

Posted by KC | June 23, 2008 4:19 PM

Comments Closed

Comments are closed on this post.