“Central Park West Trilogy” includes three novels originally published separately and collected for the first time in a single volume.
Published by BeTimes Books on August 2014.
Postmodern fables, dark, shocking, perversely funny, wickedly astute, and compulsively readable, they share Kalich’s ferocious energy and unique vision. Together, they break down standard notions of plot, character and form a body of work that is distinctive and brilliant.
"The Nihilesthete" (nominated for a Pen/Faulkner Award, The Hemingway Award, a National Book Award, and Pulitzer Prize) introduces us to Kalich’s dark world, where a spiritually desolate caseworker plays increasingly sadistic games with a limbless, speechless idiot with a painter’s eye. This enigmatic physically diminished esthete will reveal not only his true essence, but the very center of what it means to be human.
"Penthouse F" is a cautionary tale that takes the form of an inquiry into the suicide—or murder?—of a young boy and girl in the Manhattan penthouse of a writer named Richard Kalich. Blurring the lines between reality and fantasy, kindness and cruelty, love and obsession, guilt and responsibility, writer and character, "Penthouse F" is a critical examination of an increasingly voyeuristic society, a metafiction where Kalich the writer, Kalich the person and Kalich the character all merge together, as the reader must pick through the confusion to discover the truth.
"Charlie P" dispenses with a conventional narrative altogether, as we follow the comic misadventures of a singularly unique, comic and outlandish Everyman. At age three, when his father dies, he decides to overcome mortality by becoming immortal: by not living his life, he will live forever. Akin to other great American icons such as Sinclair Lewis’s Babbit and Forrest Gump, Charlie P, while asocial and alienated, is, at the same time, at the heart of the American dream.
Also available in Kindle on Amazon
Coming Soon: A New Novel by Robert Kalich titled The One-Percenters.
Penthouse F by Richard Kalich
Richard "Dick" Kalich,
Penthouse F by Richard Kalich
"A major American
The Philadelphia Inquirer
NIHILESTHETE, Richard Kalich's first novel, is one of
the most powerfully written books of the decade."
- San Francisco Chronicle
"If one of the great European intransigents of the
last century - say, Franz Kafka or Witold Gombrowicz - were
around to write a novel about our era of reality tv and
the precession of simulcra, it might look like Richard Kalich's
PENTHOUSE F, a narrative of sexual (or is it aesthetic?)
obsession and closed-circuit television, but opening onto
an interior space that both does and does not belong to
our world - a space contiguous with those dark inner rooms
that the European avant-gardists took us into. Right next
door to PENTHOUSE F is the closet where the whipper whips
his perpetual victim in The Trial..."
- Brian McHale is an american literary theorist, a seminal critical figure
in post-modern studies, author of Postmodernist Fiction
(1987), Constructing Post-Modernism (1992), and The Obligation
Toward the Difficult Whole (2004)
PENTHOUSE F - Kalich delivers a fresh, relevant, and enticingly readable work of metafiction. Akin to the best work of Paul Auster.
- Trevor Dodge, American Book Review
PENTHOUSE F - Richard Kalich's extraordinary new novel is a work concerned with the writing life, but it is also much more. A brilliant metafiction that deals with issues of great import to our post-postmodern age. This is an important work that deserves to be read by everyone interested in serious fiction.
- Marc Lowe, Review of Contemporary Fiction, Spring 2011
PENTHOUSE F - Richard Kalich's newest novel is hilarious for being the most piquant appropriator of absurdism... Kalich has succeeded in consistently producing perplexing fictions that fail to categorize themselves and escape the warping influence of authorial intent.
- Christopher Leise, Electronic Book Review
PENTHOUSE F - This book is of the kind that once you start you just want to keep reading both to find out what happens, and in this case, the strange way it makes what happens work. I’ve since bought everything else by Kalich I can find (nameably The Nihilesthete (1987) & The Zoo (2001) & Charlie P (2005)). This is a book, a body of work, an author, deserving a new unearthing eye.
- Blake Butler, HTMLGIANT Reviews
PENTHOUSE F - Richard Kalich's third novel pushes all the buttons a good whodunit novel ought to push - it’s enthralling, intriguing and tense throughout. Penthouse F is a baffling, intricate and accomplished work of meta-fiction, exploring themes of cruelty, obsession, the cult of observation and the greasy, perforated, un-ironed linen skin between fiction and reality... Thrilling and confusing in equal measure, Penthouse F is an important book that dismantles the reader, leaving you in fragmented bits and pieces like the barbed clips that make up the novel’s structure.
- Colin Herd, 3:AM Magazine
NIHILESTHETE speaks with a singular honesty, power and
eloquence about our spiritually diminished modern world
and is as important and original a novel to have been written
by an American author in a generation."
- Mid-American Review
NIHILESTHETE - "Kafka, Gombrowicz and Beckett might all spring to mind as you read this short stab of a novel, but Kalich stands on his own feet in producing a twisted and often grotesque imagining. This novel has fortunately been brought back to life again by Betimes Books as the first part of the Central Park West Trilogy, and the publisher should be heralded for bringing to our attention a writer too long ignored."
- Colin O' Sullivan
NIHILESTHETE - "A MASTERPIECE!"
- Ellen Finch,- Palatinate Online
"CHARLIE P is energetic,
delightfully sardonic, dark without being oppresive, playful
and very readable.
CHARLIE P captures the note of our late modern time."
- Sven Birkerts,
National Book Critics Circle, Citation for Excellence in
P seems to me unlike anything in American literature.
Deceptively simple, this novel offers up a character both
asocial and alienated and, at the same time, at the heart
of the American Dream."
- Brian Evenson,
Director, Creative writing program, Brown University.
Author of the novels, THE FATHER OF LIES and THE OPEN CURTAIN.
"Kalich represents the
best in contemporary fiction. He has every chance to become
- why not?
- a living classical author."
- Hooligan Literary Magazine,
Moscow, April 2005