“COUCH hits on an improbable, even fantastic premise, and then rigorously hews to the logic that it generates, keeping it afloat (at times literally) to the end.”
“Delightfully lighthearted writing. . . . Occasionally laugh-out-loud funny, the enthusiastic prose carries readers through sporadic dark moments . . . Parzybok’s quirky humor recalls the flaws and successes of early Douglas Adams.”
“Parzybok’s easy voice is guileless and contemporary, fluid and colorful as that of Tom Robbins, yet concealing considerable craft…. Parzybok delivers a funny yet deep novel that’s all about the quest to pass from a stultifying, aimless, safe stasis to a dangerous yet fulfilling uncertainty — via one humble piece of furniture.
“[COUCH] is dreamy, a slow place maintained by Parzybok’s crisp, elegant, and sometimes quite lovely writing — and a premise so unfamiliar that it can’t help but spark a burning curiosity… It’s not hard at all to let oneself get carried away in the surreal narrative, follow the dream-like logic, revel in the crystal clear prose.”
“The book succeeds as a conceptual art piece, a literary travelogue, and a fantastical quest.”
“The plot never lumbers — we’re swept along with the couch, riding on Parzybok’s light, easy, funny prose… Beyond the good old-fashioned story, COUCH meditates on heroism and history, but above all, it’s an argument for shifting your life around every now and then, for getting off the couch and making something happen.”
“Hundreds of writers have slavishly imitated—or outright ripped off—Tolkien in ways that connoisseurs of other genres would consider shameless. What Parzybok has done here in adapting the same old song to a world more familiar to the reader is to revive the genre and make it relevant again.”
“COUCH, a peculiar pastiche of many different genres of writing, excels at creating an external universe that is complex and off-the-wall… By asking readers to readjust expectations of what the novel can look and sound like, Parzybok might very well be previewing a kind of literary-adventure hybrid niche that may be back in fashion.”
“A fun adventure with a seductive premise.”
“COUCH is a quick and funny read, a short fable that ensnares us in its quixotic intentions and encourages us to believe for a short time in something magic, even if it is just a couch.”
“COUCH by Benjamin Parzybok is one of these stories with a healthy dose of magic realism added for seasoning… The story is fun, the characters are sympathetic and the writing is tight.”
For SHERWOOD NATION
“This second novel by Parzybok employs a thoughtful—and surprisingly realistic—approach to offering commentary on separatist movements…Parzybok takes a rational and well-measured approach to depicting a community uprising…Keeping Portland weird with a well-written tale of an American insurgency.”
“With climate change and ever-increasing consumption, running out of water is a danger we don’t readily acknowledge, yet Benjamin Parzybok’s Sherwood Nation makes that danger vividly real…He’s done a great job here, but let’s hope the richly detailed “Sherwood Nation” never really has to come to be.”
“Parzybok is riffing on the Robin Hood story, to be sure, but he also layers on some astute social and political commentary, and he’s built a fully functioning and believable future world.”
“Benjamin Parzybok is one star in an exotic celestial constellation whose other luminaries are named Paolo Bacigalupi, Will McIntosh, Felix Gilman, Cory Doctorow, Nick Harkaway and Tobias Buckell…he’s a unique voice who’s delivered a very good book that is both comic and tragic, grounded and fanciful, closely observed and well imagined…Parzybok’s novel might well be the most thorough and engaging expression to date of this eternal impulse to hive off from the empire.”
“This Portland is totally familiar, invoking the attitudes and spirit of today’s residents and details from the recent political landscape. It feels like the place we know — until a nightly power blackout or parade of National Guard water distribution tankers jars us with a reminder that this is, thankfully, a work of very good fiction.”
“[SHERWOOD NATION] is a fast-moving tale of ideas and action, lent credibility by current headlines and engaging characters. Parzybok’s apocalyptic future is so realistic, readers may think twice before guzzling a big glass of ice water.”
“Rich with haunting descriptions of a place once wild and now starved and poignant human dilemmas of basic survival, SHERWOOD NATION is a manifesto on how communities can work together to improve the greater good that does not shy from, sugarcoat, or exaggerate the corruptions of power and outcomes of rebellion…It is a clever, if cautionary tale.“
“Parzybok does this thing where you think, ‘this is fun!’ and then you are charmed, saddened, and finally changed by what you have read. It’s like jiu jitsu storytelling.”
Hugo Award-winning author
“Benjamin Parzybok has reached into the post-collapse era for a story vital to our here and now. Sherwood Nation is part political thriller, part social fable, and part manifesto, its every page brimming with gonzo exuberance.”
Author of The Manual of Detection
“As the corner of the country with the youngest cities, the Pacific Northwest is still very much in the process of being invented, and Benjamin Parzybok is one of our most imaginative literary inventors. In SHERWOOD NATION he gives us a vision of Portland’s rebellious indie spirit that goes deeper than the usual caricatures, revealing a city alive with conflict and possibility. This is playful, serious, and profoundly humanizing art.”
Author of Blueprints of the Afterlife
- COUCH (Small Beer Press, 2008)
- A “January 2009 Indie Next List” pick by IndieBound!
- Czech rights sold to Albatros
- SHERWOOD NATION (Small Beer Press, 2014)
- A 2016 Silicon Valley Reads pick!
- A “Science Fiction and Fantasy Books You Must Not Miss In September” pick by io9.com!