The Starlight Line: Places

“So I walked out the door of that strangely abandoned flat there at Orizaba 210 stepped onto the bright sidewalk y doblé a la derecha up cross streets past the fountain in the Plaza Luis Cabrera sparkling the morning sunlight the noise wonderful cool but then blending with noise incredible I just noticed placed cars whizzing by in a fashion I’d never that I stopped without realizing it and the fountain roared into all sights of kids running by in clothes manufactured by in between paths of sleekly hewn plastic cars and metal screeches of sound thru opened windows pounding noise and beat what smoothly swiping corner and was gone I stood dumb the only thing in the whole world apparently now silent drinking in the lappings of the fountain’s spray at its pool quiet for how long no knowing guessing what this world was with as I soon discovered later high glass buildings rising to the clouds and smog and all manner of commerce in square sculpted buildings and metal glass noise speed lights rushing off between trees into the whole of oncoming future.” (The Starlight Line, pg. 126)

Fountain

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The Starlight Line: Places

“He’d been seated at his desk working in the early afternoon of a normal, sunny, late-spring day, the Ediphone faithfully scratching his dictation into its wax cylinder as he labored through an especially bothersome chapter of the Stalin biography they were paying him to write.” (The Starlight Line, pg. 62)

Trotsky desk

The Starlight Line: Places

“Or had all those who sought to cast a new, unique look on the travels of Kerouac simply not cared to see this woman other than through Jack’s gaze? Was this drug-addled, prostituting Azteca deemed a distraction from the greater task of understanding the American writer? Was she not worth the trouble? Or did her trails running away from Jack—into the past and into the future—only expire into the thin Mexican air, leaving anyone foolish enough to take up the search fanning silken particles of light? But I will begin it, I tell myself, happily smoking my Te Amo in the sun outside the Café del Ángel, which itself no longer exists. I can start the story after B arrives and supplies me with all the requisite information.” (The Starlight Line, p. 47)

Cafe del Angel_final_lo-res

The Starlight Line: Places

“I headed north again, crossing back over the westbound lane of Obregón and continuing the few blocks to the Plaza Rio de Janeiro, circled past the gray copy of Michelangelo’s David perched there amidst the fountain and went on one block more to the Casa Universitaria del Libro, another opulent, neocolonial residence from the early twentieth century situated at the intersection of Orizaba and Puebla, and now a building of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, dedicated to the advancement and promotion of literature.” (The Starlight Line, p. 59-60)

Casa del libro

‘The Starlight Line’ is now available!

Proof Cover2_cropped_adjustedMy debut novel, The Starlight Line, has just been published by Red Giant Books. This has been in the works for a while now, but, after some unexpected delays, the book is finally out and itching to be read.

Part barroom Beat romance, part cubist caper, part speculative literary critique, The Starlight Line is sure to please. So get ye to your favorite local bookstore and order up some copies for you and your friends. (Also available from usual online suspects: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s.)

Some Advance Praise for The Starlight Line:

With echoes of Kerouac, Lowry, and Bukowski, Matt Marshall delivers a penetrating, but oddly reassuring, look into the souls of the drifters, drinkers and all the rest of us who just don’t fit in.

—Larry Kirwan, author of A History of Irish MusicRockin’ the Bronx and Liverpool Fantasy, and former leader of Irish-American rock band Black 47


Matt Marshall’s novel, The Starlight Line, is a fascinating, complex, layer-cake of a book. The frame narration is semi-autobiographical; the narrator is a frustrated writer from Cleveland, searching for inspiration. The other layers interpenetrate and enrich the frame story: Jack London’s drug-addled wanderings; Trotsky’s assassination in Mexico; a writer’s search for Jack Kerouac’s mysterious muse, Esperanza Villanueva. Marshall’s skillful technique allows him to experiment with a variety of narrative voices that work like various instruments in a symphony. The voices add texture and depth to the story. In effect, Marshall produces a novel that is about the process of fiction writing itself.

—Philip J. Skerry, author of Dark Energy: Hitchcock’s Absolute Camera and the Physics of Cinematic Spacetime and Psycho in the Shower: The History of Cinema’s Most Famous Scene