10 A Boot Stomping 20 A Human Face 30 Goto 10

10 A Boot Stomping… reads as if someone cloned an amphetamine-addled Philip K. Dick and told him to come up with his own version of Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity. The novel follows vintage music aficionado and part-time record store clerk Eric Taliaferro as he attempts to save the world from an alien invasion spearheaded by a dead-ringer for Daryl Dragon of The Captain and Tennille fame. Eric, it turns out, has a peculiar penchant for communicating with the dead — most notably rock ‘n’ roll luminaries like Jim Morrison, Elvis Presley, and Joy Division front man Ian Curtis. The dead, however, aren’t especially interested in doing anything for the living, so Eric must ultimately rely on his own wits to stop the villain he can’t help but call “Dragon.”

According the novel’s afterword, author Jess Gulbranson wrote 10 A Boot Stomping… as part of the infamous Three-day Novel Contest (dubbed by its sponsors as “The World’s Most Notorious Literary  Marathon”), and, in some ways, it shows. Most notably, Gulbranson frequently disposes of characters who’ve outlived their usefulness by having them shot — a ploy that’s partially redeemed whenever the protagonist consults the recently-deceased for advice. For the most part, however, the frantic pace at which Gulbranson must have been writing works in the novel’s favor, for the ultimate effect of reading 10 A Boot Stomping… is a lot like riding a roller coaster: it’s a lot of fun as long as you don’t worry too much about what’s holding the whole thing together.


  1. I must admit, I got the idea for shooting everyone in the face from the afterword to Twain’s “Puddn’head Wilson”, which I think should be required reading for anyone who writes anything. It squares you up with the world right quick. (I’m reading the KLF’s “The Manual” right now, and it functions much the same way.)

    Also, if anyone wants the straight Amazon link to STOMPING, here it is:


  2. I’ve done the 3 Day Novel contest 6 times! I really meant to do it this year. This makes me both attracted and repelled by this book (which sounds compelling). I wonder how much work he did AFTER the three days was over? This is an important question.

    Still, love the concept. It’s a fun contest, too. If you haven’t done it, you should consider it.

    1. Well, I hope it doesn’t repulse you further, but I did almost nothing to it after the 71 hours was up. I ran some spell checkaroo on it, and angered my eventual editor when she was unable to tear me a new wordhole on mistakes. So, yeah.

      That was my first and only year so far- I missed out on this year’s competition. Suppose I’ll have to content myself with the NaSoAlMo.

      Hope you get a chance to read and review STOMPING!

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