Matt Bell is the guest. His new novel, Scrapper, is now available from Soho Press. It is the official October selection of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.
This is Matt's second time on the show. Last we spoke, he was living up in northern Michigan, in Marquette. Since then he's moved to Tempe, Arizona. A big change in all sorts of ways. We start off talking about that, and then we get into Detroit, the setting of Scrapper, and try to wrap our heads around what's happened there and why and what might happen in the future. Detroit, like post-Katrina New Orleans, is something that from a distance can be hard to believe. Not until you're on the ground and looking at it with your own eyes does the scale of it even begin to come into focus. So Matt, with his good brain, has done us all a service by writing this book and imagining this world in such richness and depth. Seems hard to believe, as I've known (or "internet known") him for a long time, but this was the first time Matt and I have ever met in person (our previous interview was conducted over the phone). He was passing through Los Angeles on book tour and was kind enough to stop by to do the show.
In today's monologue I talk about going out to dinner and my failure to do the kinds of cultural things that I should probably be doing. And I talk about Starbucks.