The Pixies are busy this spring with a steady diet of touring — not to mention the upcoming release of their first album in eons — but frontman Black Francis has found time to engage in a more literary endeavor, this week publishing his first novel, “The Good Inn,” co-authored with Josh Frank and featuring the illustrations of Steven Appelby.
The 256-page hardback, published by HarperCollins’ It Books, is billed as “blurring the lines between fact and fiction, film and prose, reality and surreality” with a plot that involves — among many other things, it would appear — the making of the first-ever porn film, in France in 1908.
According to the publisher:
“Created in the explosive space between the surreal and the concrete, ‘The Good Inn’ is a visually arresting novel that follows Solder Boy — the lone survivor of the explosion of the battleship Iéna — as he wanders aimlessly after the ship’s accident, falls deeply for an innkeeper’s daughter, and even more deeply into a bizarre, alternate universe he discovers through a hole in his bedroom wall.
The world he finds exists at the intersection of art and violence, and introduces readers to the very real (and surreal) characters who created the first narrative pornographic film. ‘The Good Inn’ weaves together real characters from the history of French cinema with darkly whimsical illustrations by Steven Appleby and recreates the lost story of La Bonne Auberge, as seen through the eyes of a shell-shocked soldier.
Through Soldier Boy’s journey as the subject and star of the world’s first stag film, we explore the power of memory, the simultaneously destructive and healing power of light and how the early pioneers of these stag films helped shape their industry for generations to come.”
Frank, the novel’s co-author, is no stranger to Pixies fans, having compiled “Fool the World: The Oral History of a Band Called Pixies.” He and Black Francis will appear April 25 at The Powerhouse Arena in Brooklyn for a book launch event.
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