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The Drill Press Catalog


Cover of When Pacino's Hot, I'm Hot


A Miscellany of Stories & Commentary by Robert Levin

"Gosh, he's a bloody good writer! Verbose but hilarious. His stories present a mad, vulgar, dysfunctional world that the author flounders around in. Great entertainment." — Harold Nawy, Professor Emeritus, UC, Berkeley

As you laugh and puzzle and mostly marvel your way through this compendium of fiction and non-fiction–a range of the patently absurd to the profound–one thought will dominate all others: Who IS this Robert Levin? Love child of Albert Camus? Adopted son of Woody Allen? A third Farrelly brother? Because this man can move you from existential angst to sophomoric guffaws at the drop of a phrase, and he is never less than convincing no matter what his emotional temperature.

He is a writer of so many voices, almost all of them funny, most of them angry, some of them a little sad–like his characters (not exactly top-drawer, as the celebrity doppelganger-ridden star of the title story points out about his lady conquests). But this crew of life-bitten losers has a sense of humor…and aren't we all losers, in the long run anyway? Levin has more than a few words to say on the fact that we've all been dealt the death card, and covers an astonishing amount of comic territory saying them.

If it is hard to believe that a burlesque like "Peggie" comes from the same mind as the strategically brilliant "Everything's All Right in the Middle East," read on. Or read again. What every piece here has in common is an out-sized sensibility: the humor is over the top, but then, too, so is the intelligence. "Stupidity: Its Uses & Abuses" is so damn smart. "Get Your Face Out of My Cigarette!" is too smart for its own good. "Dog Days" is so smart it makes you want to cry. But between the trenchant wit and the toilet humor, you'll never lose sight of the fact that Robert Levin is one uniquely bright, talented guy who is not going gentle into that good night.

It seems remarkably good luck that he is willing to take us along for the ride.

"'Peggie' is the funniest and rudest thing I've read in years, and "Dog Days" is just extraordinary…original and disturbing." – Tony Cook, ABC Tales

"'When Pacino's Hot' is the funniest story I've ever read." – Cecil Taylor

"Levin may possibly be the master of the rant." – Elizabeth Richardson, Zinos, on "Stupidity: Its Uses & Abuses"

"Heavy and brilliant." – Douglas Rushkoff on "Everything's All Right in the Middle East"

"A writer from whom I always learn something." – Nat Hentoff

About the Author

Robert Levin is the coauthor and coeditor, respectively, of two collections of essays about jazz and rock in the '60s: Music & Politics (with John Sinclair), World, and Giants of Black Music (with Pauline Rivelli), Da Capo Press. Among numerous other places, his stories and commentary have appeared in, or on the web sites of, Absinthe Literary Review, Best of Nuvein Fiction, Cosmoetica, Eyeshot, New York Review, Rolling Stone, Sein und Werden, Sweet Fancy Moses, Underground Voices, Unlikely Stories, The Village Voice and the Word Riot 2003 Anthology.

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