Free? Yes, free, as long as you are willing to make a donation to a charity/cause of your choice. You can email Concord Free Press to request a copy (shipping is free too) here.
“We publish free books that inspire generosity. All we ask is that you donate any amount to a charity or someone in need, and tell us about it. Then pass your book along so others can give. Our books have inspired $1 million+ in generosity.“
Book description from the publisher:
Drop into the fascinating, hallucinatory world of Another Way to Fall, the dark brainchild of Brian Evenson and Paul Tremblay. Evenson’s Baby Leg and Tremblay’s The Harlequin and the Train appeared in limited editions that are largely unavailable. Now Another Way to Fall brings these fantastic, award-winning writers together—and puts these haunting novels in the eager hands of new (and generous) readers.
In Baby Leg, a mysterious man awakes one morning in an isolated cabin with no memory of how he’s gotten there—or why he’s missing a hand. The book has been described as “the kind of thing that might have happened if David Goodis and Jim Thompson tried to write a mad scientist story in the middle of a bender.”
Powerful and profoundly eerie, Tremblay’s The Harlequin and the Train spins the surreal tale of a young train engineer, a commuter train accident, and its disturbing aftermath. As novelist Laird Barron put it, Tremblay “pierces the veil of prosaic suburban life to reveal its dark heart.”
Brian Evenson is the author of a dozen books of fiction, most recently the story collection A Collapse of Horses and the novella The Warren.
Paul Tremblay is the author of seven novels including Disappearance at Devil’s Rock, A Head Full of Ghosts, The Little Sleep, and the forthcoming The Cabin at the End of the World.
Brief self interview:
Q: Wait, is the book really free? Is this legit? Will I be spammed by CEOs and royalty from a variety of countries looking for money if I email CFP asking for a copy?
A: Yes. Yes. No.
Q: What is THE HARLEQUIN AND THE TRAIN?
A: It’s a novella (or short novel depending upon your definition) that was initially published in 2009 by Jeffrey Thomas’s Necropolitan Press. It’s dark and strange and will make you feel icky, but hopefully in the good way. “The Harlequin and the Train” was originally a short story (4600 words, give or take) that appeared in my first fiction collection (Compositions for the Young and Old). I wrote an on spec screenplay for the story, which didn’t really work. But I liked what I added to it, so I took the screenplay and re-wrote it as a novella.
Q: Are there clowns?
A: Kind of. But they are motionless and don’t wear any red, or big noses, or big shoes. Really it’s the shoes you are afraid of.
Q: Is this version of the novella different than the Necropolitan Press version?
A: Only cosmetically (some typos and snytax cleaned up). The original novella asked that readers highlight certain grey-ed out words yellow (the pretentious-me thinking it was an even better way to implicate the reader in the awfulness going on in the story and going on around them) and the few people (hi, Mom!) who read it were confused and looked for secret meanings in combining the highlighted words, which was kind of cool for me but more likely annoying for readers, so no grey-ed out words and no highlighting required this time around.
Q: What’s in it for you, Tremblay? You must be getting something out of this. Nothing is free. NOTHING!
I get to share a book with a friend and amazing writer in Brian Evenson. His novella “Baby Leg” is weird and brilliant, like all of Brian’s work. (See a review I wrote for his novel Immobility here.)
I get to work with friend and amazing writer Stona Finch and the fine folk at Concord Free Press.
While I’ll be the first to admit that The Harlequin and the Train might read like an early work at times, I still dig it, and I still dig its energy, and now the story is back in print (in a beautiful form) and ready to be sucked up by many more eyeballs. (Ew!).
The idea of a somewhat heavy-handed (which is okay sometimes, I think) anti-consumerism story being published for free and inspiring donations to charities and causes feels like I’m putting my money where my mouth is (no pun intended; a pun you’ll only get after you read the book).
Go order a copy for free. Now don’t say I’ve never given you anything.