Jack O’Connell Week: Ron Hogan on Quinsigamond and the “Truly Weird”

(Jack O’Connell; photo by Ron Hogan)

As Ron Hogan tells Ecstatic Days, “Cracking open a Jack O’Connell novel for the first time is like watching your first David Lynch film. Quinsigamond may look a LITTLE sketchy on the surface, but you start poking around, and you begin to realize that the world is filled with some truly weird, truly dark shit. Anybody can do depravity in the shadows for cheap effect, though–Jack’s stories work because he gets you genuinely caught up in his characters’s lives.”

Hogan profiled O’Connell on Mediabistro’s Galleycat when The Resurrectionistwas first released, writing in part, “As I started the novel, I was thrilled to see that it takes place in and around Quinsigamond, the setting for his four previous stories—a sort of David Lynch version of a ’70s factory town on the skids. Like I told O’Connell, “I’m a Lovecraft fan from way back; you make up a fictional city in central Massachusetts, and I’m already sold.” He began thinking out Quinsigamond’s contours when he was a boy, and though he didn’t envision a series when he published his first novel, Box Nine, people kept asking if he had more stories in that world. He admitted that much of the city has real-world analogues in his actual hometown of Worcester, where he continues to live today, just “irradiated a little bit.” And, sure enough, the novel he’s working on now—a story he began ten years ago, but hadn’t found the right voice for back then—will be set there, too.” Check out Galleycat for the rest of the feature.

In addition to editing (and writing a good chunk of) the literary website Beatrice.com, Ron Hogan writes about the business side of publishing at GalleyCat. Hogan is the author of The Stewardess Is Flying the Plane, a visual tribute to ’70s Hollywood Publishers Weekly called “one of the year’s most fun” coffee table books when it was published in 2005.