St John Karp

Ramblings of an Ornamental Hermit

The Radium Baby Roaring Twenties Launch Party

There’s only a week to go until the launch party for my novel Radium Baby. This has been in the works for a while, largely thanks to the imagination and encouragement of my friends who no doubt just wanted an excuse to get their Gatsby on and Charleston like it’s 1927. Yes, I’m friends with those people (or rather, they’re my friends because they are those people).

If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, you should come join us to celebrate the publication of Radium Baby with the gay abandon and optimism of a doomed age. Vamps and dandies, sheiks and shebas of all ages are welcome and admission is free, because if you can’t dress like a loon and toast to a comic novel, then what can you do?

Time: 1:30 - 4:30 PM, Saturday June 29

Location: The Lost Church (65 Capp St, San Francisco)

As if the novel itself weren’t cause enough to celebrate, I was lucky enough to see the new Kirkus review of Radium Baby and discover that it was exceedingly positive. So much, in fact, that it earned what the Internet assures me is the “coveted” Kirkus star, which are so rare that they have to be harvested from the heart of a volcano by squadrons of trained weasels wearing asbestos heat suits. They are so valuable that Samuel Gruntstable, attorney at law, once attempted to buy one with a kiss that had been given to him by Valerie Pepperpot after a particularly radioactive party. Surprisingly few people were willing to take him up on his swap and even fewer have ever read his “book”.

My first reaction upon seeing the star was, “What the hell is that?

Get that thing off my review!” I’ve mellowed somewhat since then, and come to accept that my reviewer is clearly a visionary equipped with the good taste of Petronius and the literary distinction of a bright-eyed Edith Sitwell. I take my hat off to you, sir and/or madam.

Here is what they had to say:

Throughout this adventure novel, Karp’s madcap imagination keeps readers hungering for the final outcome, and his prose sparkles with his flair for the absurd … The contest’s puzzles, which involve such diverse elements as hornets’ honey and the Eye of Tutankhamen, have surprise twists, but Karp isn’t merely a showman. He’s also capable of dreamily evocative scene-setting … and manages to end his tale on a truly profound note.

A devilishly rich, satisfying scientific confection.

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)