Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Ben Tanzer is a prolific novelist and an Emmy-award winning Public Service Announcement writer.

He applied the Page 69 Test to his latest novel, Orphans, and reported the following:
"There is Morg, Al B and his girlfriend, lover, muse Shalla, and her flowing hair and raucous, throaty laugh. They hustle and make music, rhyming and stealing." Orphans, Page 69.

The Page 69 Test asks a straight forward question, if you open a book to Page 69, is it representative of the rest of the book, and would a reader skimming that page be inclined to read on? To open Orphans to Page 69 is to land in the middle of a dream fraught with confusion and loss, and the desire to make sense of what our memories mean to us in the present. In the world of Orphans, we are all orphaned by work and family, and a society that is all too happy to replace us. Given all this, do I think someone skimming the page would be inclined to read on? I do. Like the characters' love for the Ramones, the writing is intended to be slamming and propulsive, giving the reader no choice but to read on as they are pulled along blow by blow, page by page, and chapter by chapter, breathless and exhilarated, from the first sentence to the last. What Page 69 may not tell the reader about Orphans, is that a story which is at once bleak and harrowing, is also full of humor, and that despite the fact that clones may actively replace us in the workplace and home, on a good day, you can still score a robot hand job. Which is nice. If that's your thing.
Visit Ben Tanzer's blog and Facebook page.

--Marshal Zeringue