by Al Burian
After another 2 year hiatus, we are welcomed back to the dark, jaded musings of Al Burian. This time Al collects Burn Collector #10, 11, 12, 13 as well as Natural Disasters #1 and 2 and a teeny bit from Punk Planet. The highlight is Al comparing himself to Kilgore Trout, from Kurt Vonegut's "Breakfast of Champions", a man in his mid-50s; still failed in his profession, using inventive ways of getting through life as an unsuccessful writer. The ironies are definitely present as Al is one of the most respected rock musicians and zine writers around today, yet the comparison makes sense as Al's ex-girlfriend marries someone else (reception at his house, nonetheless). He tries to breakup with a different girlfriend for an entire issue while even his mother is insisting that he should. He travels around Europe and goes to a family reunion in Germany as the family's perpetual loser, where his mother laments how terrible all of his bands' albums are and his family wonders why he has so little income. This book features some of the most solid writing you'll encounter in zines; employing foreshadowing, characters, irony, recurring themes, and metaphor; making for an excellent read. If you aren't already familiar with Burn Collector or just never picked up some of these issues - close your curtains, unplug your phone, bake some cookies, and recline with this book!
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