Armistead Maupin is one of those writers whose work spoke to many people and whose stories felt so visceral. His books made certain individuals who felt so alone for so long feel instantly connected to a larger tapestry. 30 Miles of Crazy #7 evokes a similar feeling.
I remembered the first time I heard about Maupin. It was in the television adaptation of one of his books for Showtime. The series starred some well-known actors and their lives in and around the city of San Francisco.
I watched the series as a lover of great stories and was not disappointed at all. The series was a godsend. It made me ravage his books. Though it was a world unfamiliar to me, his tactile penchant for pacing, his endearing structure of his characters, and his layered world building made his books both worthwhile and magnetic. Very few writers since his entry into the literary world can compare. Karl Christian Krumpholz is one who does. Krumpholz has set his own standards, giving the world a modern masterpiece in 30 Miles Of Crazy #7.
In “The City,” a man marvels at how much his city has changed around him, and though he lived there for years he still feels like an outsider. In “The Mugger,” an unlikely snowfall gives way to some very strange circumstances, ones that lead to a mugger walking his would-be victim home safely. In “A Gesture,” one man gets a love branch from someone in a crisis which puts his whole place in life in perspective. In “My Uncle,” one man finds out more about a long deceased relative in his death more than when he was alive. In “Darkness,” one bargoer reminisces about a friend who was the life of the party and how those missed connections, were the only chances we have before someone is gone from this life. In “My Only Stan Lee Story,” the author replays his wife’s encounter with the iconoclast, which though truncated, is both funny and very much is within his personality. In the last story I will highlight, “Agoraphobia,” one woman’s issues with her family haunts her long after they pass away, leaving her to question what she fears now?
Overall, a beautiful collection of vignettes that both ring true and is somewhat fantastical at times. The stories by Krumpholz are funny, brilliant, and heartfelt. The art by Krumpholz is gorgeous. Altogether, stories that will make you feel as though those bricks are beneath your feet.
Story: Karl Christian Krumpholz Art: Karl Christian Krumpholz
Story: 10 Art: 9.6 Overall: 9.8 Recommendation: Buy