Charles, Bryan 1974-
Charles, Bryan 1974-
Born August 2, 1974, in MI. Education: Western Michigan University, B.A.; attended graduate school.
Former cofounder, Rocket Fuel (Internet magazine); founder, No Slander (online journal). Has also worked as a substitute teacher, a Wall Street copywriter, and in various office jobs; also played guitar in several bands, including So This Is Outer Space.
Grab On to Me Tightly as If I Knew the Way (novel), Harper Perennial (New York, NY), 2006.
Contributor to Open City and the anthology Before and After: Stories from New York, Norton (New York, NY), 2002.
In his first novel, Grab On to Me Tightly as If I Knew the Way, Bryan Charles tells the semiautobiographical story of Vim Sweeny, a recent graduate from Kalamazoo High School. As the narrator of his tale, Vim tells his coming-of-age story as he plays in bands and wonders if life has not already defeated him. In the meantime, he is obsessed with the first Gulf War and is having an affair with his best friend's girlfriend. "Well, Vim's story is essentially my own and the book's main plot points (inasmuch as there actually is a plot) are certainly true," Charles told Matthew Perpetua in Fluxblog. "My parents divorced when I was quite young and I grew up and got very into music and played in bands and was hung up a lot of the time on unattainable girls, etc. Beyond that, I invented many of the specific situations and various other peripheral characters." Noting the author's "fine writing," Joanne Wilkinson commented in Booklist that the novel has "plenty of heart and laugh-out-loud humor." School Library Journal critic Nancy Brown felt that "Charles is very good at capturing the way teenagers speak to one another." A Kirkus Reviews contributor concluded that the author's "tone and imagery does an impressive job of capturing the moment when you're so eager to get out of your adolescence you're fit to burst."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, April 1, 2006, Joanne Wilkinson, review of Grab On to Me Tightly as If I Knew the Way, p. 16.
Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2006, review of Grab On to Me Tightly as If I Knew the Way, p. 249.
Publishers Weekly, April 3, 2006, review of Grab On to Me Tightly as If I Knew the Way, p. 38; May 16, 2005, Jason Anthony, "Another Book Destined to Bypass Hollywood for the Independent World Is First Novel Grab On to Me Tightly as If I Know the Way by Bryan Charles," p. 8.
School Library Journal, November, 2006, Nancy Brown, review of Grab On to Me Tightly as If I Knew the Way, p. 171.
Bryan Charles Home Page,http://www.noslander.com/bryancharles.html (December 19, 2006).
Bryan Charles,http://www.myspace.com/bryancharlesforever (December 19, 2006).
Fluxblog,http://www.fluxblog.org/ (June 2, 2006), Matthew Perpetua, "Fluxblog Interview with Bryan Charles."
Stop Smiling Online,http://stopsmilingonline.com/ (July 10, 2006), Greg Purcell, "A Conversation with Author Bryan Charles."