Thursday, June 5, 2008

"Girl Factory"

Jim Krusoe has written five books of poems, a book of stories, Blood Lake, and a novel, Iceland, which was selected by the Los Angeles Times and the Austin Chronicle as one of the ten best fiction books of 2002, and was on the Washington Post list of notable fiction the same year.

He applied the Page 69 Test to his new book, Girl Factory, and reported the following:
Maybe page 69 is too representative, in a way, because it’s one of the turning points of Girl Factory, just after Jonathan’s boss, Spinner, has been beaten to death by two thugs—possibly the result of information that Jonathan gave them. (This is either death No. 3, 4, or 5 as a result of his trying to be helpful, but who’s counting?)

It’s a place where things stop for a moment, and the page begins by telling us that everything is OK, except for the six women submerged in acidophilus in the bottom of Mister Twisty’s Yogurt. At this point the responsibility for the six women’s well-being—if you can call it that—is shifted to Jonathan. The rest of page 69 briefly summarizes a memorial service for Spinner, which is a chance to bring several characters we already know together before the action resumes.

Would I read Girl Factory based solely on this page? I would probably find it a bit dizzying except for the part when Spinner’s widow asks Jonathan if he would consider Steve, a fellow merchant in Mister Twisty’s mall, “attractive” (except for the fact “he smells a lot like pet shop”).

That line, at least, would send me to the beginning of the novel to see what’s going on here.

The answer is—plenty.
Read an excerpt from Girl Factory, and learn more about the book and author at the publisher's website.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue