Let Go and Go On and On
by Tim Kinsella
In Let Go and Go On and On the story of obscure actress Laurie Bird is told in a second-person narrative, blurring what little is known of her actual biography with her roles as a drifter in Two Lane Blacktop, a champion's wife in Cockfighter, and an aging rock star's Hollywood girlfriend in Annie Hall.
Laurie Bird’s story unravels in a bathtub where she commits suicide at the age of 26, and Let Go and Go On and On draws on this very American story to explore our endless fascination with the Hollywood machine and the weirdness that is celebrity culture.
PRAISE FOR LET GO AND GO ON AND ON:
"In his freewheeling sophomore novel, indie rocker Tim Kinsella pieces together a fictional account of real-life aspiring actress Laurie Bird...[using the] handful of minor roles she scored before her untimely death. [...] In pointed, lyrical prose, Kinsella breathes life into a starlet while also posing compelling questions about film and appropriation."
"Kinsella's choice of second person point of view makes the novel, in some senses, an elegy and heartfelt remembrance to a victim of misogyny perpetrated by what many Americans consider musicians and actors of artistic distinction and merit. [...] Kinsella, known most notably for his musical group, Cap'n Jazz, could've easily fallen into a cliché fictional depiction of "the tragic starlet." His text is quite the opposite, with incredible, refreshing descriptions of relationships and depression. [... ] Kinsella humbles himself before the character and the person, allowing his words and the feeling transmuted through them to let the novel tell its own story, let readers find their own curiosity, and ruminate on who Laurie Bird really was."
—Matt Pincus, Bookslut
"Using a second-person narrative to shed light on “what little is known of her actual biography,” Kinsella has avoided any sophomore slump; in fact, he’s crafted a beautifully wrought narrative of one of the 1970s most pined-about b-actresses, who tragically took her own life at the age of 26 in 1979. Let Go and Go On and On is a page-turner for fans of Bird’s midnight movie oeuvre."
—JC Gabel, Print Purist
"Initially the setting seems so familiar. I know this. I’ve seen these films so many times. I’ve fallen in love with Laurie Bird and wondered where she goes when she’s not in frame. I give Kinsella a five thousand star review for launching me deep into an alternate universe somewhere between fiction of the most intimate and biography of the most compelling. It’s like gazing upon a magnificent and hyper-detailed print, beautiful and meticulous, a pitch-perfect fine flowing bellow, the sound of celestial molasses."
—Devendra Banhart, indie musician
"Truth becomes fiction and fiction grows a thumping, heavy heart in Tim Kinsella’s extraordinary novel about the too short life of model/actress/photographer Laurie Bird [...] a mysterious woman, a beautiful storm rushing through, who was perhaps frightened to be alone, and who was drawn to the vigor and struggle of the driven souls she surrounded herself with, meets a somber finish. Readers are left clutching a ghost to their chests as Kinsella’s words push past flesh to squeeze their broken hearts. An excellent study of the sometimes ephemeral nature of the free soul’s beauty, this work is not to be missed."
—Mel Bosworth, The Small Press Book Review
"[Let Go and Go On and On] is a heartfelt tribute to an actress who struggled against the crashing waves of reality around her. This is life among the stars and the bright lights and this story will not be forgotten, it will not be bootlegged like old VCR copies of Two-Lane Blacktop. By delving deeper into [Laurie Bird's] life through photographs and films, Kinsella shows us that this is no ordinary train wreck in progress that we feel drawn to watch; this is us riding the train itself just moments before impact. Let Go and Go On and On is a truly outstanding novel and serves as a reminder of "The Girl" that should never be forgotten."
—Nick Sweeney, The Summerset Review
ABOUT TIM KINSELLA:
Since forming in 1996, Kinsella’s band Joan of Arc and its related projects have released more than thirty records. Let Go and Go On and On is his second novel.
Small Press Book Review
Publication Date: April 2014