Tag Archives: Jim Booth

The incompleteness of the soul: an insider’s non-review of Completeness of the Soul: The Life and Opinions of Jay Breeze, Rock Star

I’ve been thinking about Completeness of the Soul: The Life and Opinions of Jay Breeze, Rock Star, the third novel from my friend and fellow scrogue Jim Booth. I finished reading it a few days ago, but for me it’s been a slightly disjointed experience because I’ve seen most of it in its pieces before: chapters like “Fins” and “The Balcony Scene” have been previously published as standalone short stories and there are sections (the “Rock Star Handbook”) that Jim originally developed as an offering for an SMS entertainment company in which I was a  partner. So I’ve been familiar for years with the component elements, but this was my first encounter with the unified book in context.

After several days of reflection, I find myself musing on things that many readers and reviewers might not have twigged on. Read more

Burning down the (empty) house

– Carolina’s got no culture ’til the mushrooms kick in…

Doco burned the house down last night. Unfortunately, nobody was in it at the time.

The house, in this case, was the Little Bear in Evergreen, CO, a well-respected venue that hosts everything from local mainstays to up-and-comers to significant national acts. And Doco is a band we’ve mentioned before here: Trevor (guitar, vox) and Josh (bass) Booth are the sons of our colleague Jim Booth, and they’re one of the most talented young acts you’re likely to run across.

But any young band trying to put a dent in the market knows nights like last night. Read more

22 Questions with Jim Booth

I’ve known Jim Booth since August of 1975, when I walked into my freshman English class at Ledford High School and ran headlong into a teacher one of my friends had advised me to avoid (that’s the problem with being 14 – you don’t yet know that your friends are idiots). Booth was different – aggressively different – from any teacher I had ever had, seen, heard about, or even imagined. He was in his early 20s at the time, greatly admired the masters of the British canon, and also played in a rock band (and a darned good band, too, it turned out). And we read stuff that I actually liked – Sherlock Holmes, for instance. I had never enjoyed an English class before. This was all pretty edgy stuff for Ledford.

I’ve gotten to know Jim pretty well through the years (at one point we were even roommates), and was ecstatic to learn recently that these two novels he’s been sitting on for years, Morte d’Eden and The New Southern Gentleman, had been accepted, finally, for publication. I asked Jim if he could find the time to answer 22 questions from the Pit, and he graciously complied.

1: Morte d’Eden has been “finished” since the early ’80s, but during that period it has also undergone some major revision. Can you talk about the process of taking what was originally a book of tightly-related short stories and evolving it into a more coherent novel?

JB: Like most writers, I didn’t know I could write novels until I got started. Most of us who begin writing fiction think we might have enough for a short story, but almost none of us go out of the gate thinking we have a novel coming out. Read more