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|"Persevering Through Relentless
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(cover by David Allen)
|trade paperback, 277 pages: $9.99
hardback, 277 pages, $21.99
The Bronzeville Boogie
Ed Fumiaki Funderburke is a wreck, a knight, a smoking heap, a Samurai full of arrows, a has-been who wants to still be, an anachronism all out of knack. He functions on vague moral impulse, cheap beer, and reluctant curiosity. Half-Caucasian, half-Japanese, he is wrongly taken for one or the other, and winds up castigated, either way. A one-time reporter, Funderburke turned to private investigation when newspapers ran out of bingo players and sports fans. If people left him alone, he would set a record for inertia. As it is, the knocks on the door of his nearly historic Hollywood apartment keep him rousted---that and his longtime feline roommate, Jacques Pico. When an elderly shopkeeper and his wife in Little Tokyo are murdered, Funderburke makes a cursory inquiry, only to find himself cursed with a case that makes psychosis seem sane. Only his masochism, that is, his persistence, enables him to stumble on to answers, and, in the process, a nearly forgotten piece of Little Tokyo history.
© 2018 Rip Rense, Rensart Productions. All rights reserved.
trade paperback, 309 pages: $10.99! International shipping: $10
The Death Sisters
A middle-aged woman dead at the bottom of a flight of stairs. A taiko player leaking from a hundred punctures. A predator female who can’t decide if she is Japanese, Caucasian, or Jewish. A billionaire developer, the Mexican Mafia, punk cops, sado-masochism, a middle-aged shinnichi (Japanophile), 86-year-old strongman, boozing theater dame, incest, money, murder, Little Tokyo, and cat-sitting. The stuff that
© 2017 Rip Rense, Rensart Productions. All rights reserved.
Note: I signed, and cancelled, a deal to publish this book with a well-known New York outfit. For reasons unknown, the editors asked for changes that would have reduced the Japanese and Japanese-American aspect of the book. I refused. ---RR
cover by David Allen
trade paperback, 280 pages: $10.99International shipping: $10
|trade paperback, 145 pages: $10.99||Always Not There
Los Angeles writer and sometimes wronger Rip Rense presents a collection of 71 utterenses published by Rensart Productions. Among the subjects considered:
Ravel’s “Bolero,” a portrait of actress Sarah Bernhardt by Alfred Stevens (hanging in the UCLA Hammer Museum), the singer-songwriter Chuck E. Weiss, the fifth symphony of Jean Sibelius, the late comic Jonathan Winters, the deeply diseased state of world culture, the tyranny of marketing, a man returning home after his son leaves for college, a terminally ill neighbor, a struggle between Jesus and the saxophone, a house in Isla Vista in 1968, a café named for a vagina, guitar notes played by Jerry Garcia, kitty-cats, ambivalence, and jackhammers. There is also a tribute to the late, beloved Los Angeles poet, Scott Wannberg. The book is dedicated to Wannberg, a lifelong friend of Rense.
"Rense's style is unshackled by convention and expectation," said Santa Monica writer Cordelia Wong-Rogers. "It exists to serve the subject at hand."
© 2015-16 Rip Rense, Rensart Productions. All rights reserved.
cover by David Allen
trade paperback 302 pages, 25 stories. . .
just $10.99! International shipping: $10
of the Heart---
No illustrations. Only the stories, all twenty-five.
A poor country girl in Taiwan dreams of going to the land of Rock Hudson and Doris Day. . .An aging bachelor plots to have lunch with his favorite cinema femme fatale, half-way around the world. . .. . .A professor returns to his home city and finds the father he hasn't seen in decades, or does he?. . .A writer gets an e-mail from a sister he never knew he had--or does he?. . .A sweet brother and sister songwriting team work toward the big time, but circumstances have stranger plans. . .A tiny wooden house that once lived and breathed the joys and aspirations of a Japanese immigrant family falls to the the backhoe. . .Two Taipei high school girls vow to protect an old man selling ice cream in front of their school. . .A woman reckons with the death of her father, or both her fathers. . .A grade school teacher leaves her abusive, drunken husband and finds answers from a college kid in a 3 a.m. coffee shop in 1968. . .A writer returns home to find there is no more home---but plenty of rabbits. . .A man with multiple sclerosis finds a new world, in the one he already lived. . .Two once-upon-a-time childhood sweethearts pass each other in the night, 40 years later. . .Two brothers and their father find themselves victims of Santa Claus, an ex-wife, and Puccini. . .A stranded man receives improbable help from a nice phone operator in the middle of the night, with a very large catch. . .A day off from hell. . .A high school reunion from below hell. . .And more Strange Places of the Heart. . .
© 2015-17 Rip Rense, Rensart Productions. All rights reserved.
Places of the Heart--
Original Illustrated Edition
Twenty-five short stories by Rip Rense.
wonderful illustrations by Keith Snider.
Love is a many bended thing. It is not roses and chocolates, and
it is not sex, and it is not undying devotion, though those things are all
better when love is involved. Love is cryptic and perverse, sneaky and
strange. It happens when
it shouldn’t, and doesn’t happen when it should. It happens inside heads
where no one can see it, and it happens between the living and dead, people
and cats, people and food, people and delusions, people and hope, people and
themselves. And love is not even love. It can be hate. Yin-yang, the notion
of everything carrying its opposite, is too often simplified as two halves
of a whole. But the Chinese symbol of yin-yang has some yin in the yang, and
some yang in the yin. Was the hatred that drove humans to destroy Nazi
Germany an act
of love? Well. All of which is to say that there are strange places in the
heart, maybe nothing but strange places. Here are twenty five stories about
(cover by Rip Rense)
International shipping: $10
International shipping: $10
(cover by Pam Teplitz and Rip Rense)
Satisfying Encounters With Humanity (LTSEWH)
The Decline of Western Civilization---Illustrated.
long-running LTSEWH column is now a fully illustrated book. You read it in the L.A.
Times, and The Rip Post. Now, the book. With wonderfully deranged
© 2007-2017 Rip Rense, Rensart Productions. All rights reserved.
The Decline of Western Civilization---
measured by its language.
Rense's long-running Lingo Czar column (L.A. Times, The Rip Post) is now 210 acid-dripping pages exposing rigidly conformist slang, reflexive outbursts, 'cool' patois, abominable cliches, infantile drivel, smug rejoinders, mandatory peer-enforced buzzwords and idiot-speak that Americans are spewing from 500-word iPhone vocabularies as their knuckles hang ever closer to the sidewalk.
The Czar's rulings are rendered with wit, insight, and mildly dyspeptic analysis.
"I thought I was alone. Thank God someone else has not
only noticed, but hilariously documented, the degradation of English wrought
by television and computer. Bless you, Mr. Rense." ---Laurie Dockett,
retired professor of English Literature.
LISTEN TO SAMPLES
greatest grateful dead album the
grateful dead never made. . .
The Persuasions, Brooklyn-grown street singers who became the greatest a cappella group in American history, sing the Grateful Dead---specifically, the songs of Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia. Songs that still are among among the most original in American music. Sheer poetry, meet sheer melody.
PRODUCED BY RIP RENSE. MIXED BY MARC DOTEN
FOR ZOHO ROOTS RECORDS.
---grateful dead lyricist Robert Hunter.
SPECIAL GUESTS ARTISTS: Country Joe McDonald, Mark Karan (Ratdog), Jackie LaBranch and Gloria Jones (Jerry Garcia Band), Grateful Dead keyboardist Vince Welnick, Dongming Qiao, James King, Alyn Kelley, Eric Thompson, Peter Rowan, Pete Grant, Mary Schmary.
"Deadheads, take a hit from this double disc dose of the real thing. Persuasions fans, this may be the last time you'll ever hear a Persuasions line-up with original lead, and once-in-a-lifetime talent, Jerry Lawson. . .These tracks are stories that happen to have been set to song, not songs that happen to have a story."
---Jonathan Minkoff, Recorded A Cappella Review Board.
"Album producer Rip Rense calls the marriage of these two acclaimed artists "a surprisingly natural fit." He couldn't be more right. It works because these tracks are more than just covers; they're tributes. Each arrangement is designed to draw something new out of the original. Many of them include actual instruments, such as piano, guitar, and baritone saxophone."
---Nicole Maria Milano,Recorded A Cappella Review Board.
PRODUCED BY RIP RENSE FOR ZOHO ROOTS
AND RENSART PRODUCTIONS
"Hands-down the spiritual event-in-song of 2011."---David McGee, Bluegrass Special.
19 SONGS. . .70 MINUTES OF MUSIC AND LAUGHTER. . . BOOKLET. . .ECO-FRIENDLY CD WALLET. . .PHOTO SCRAPBOOK. . .
PRODUCED BY RIP RENSE AND MARC DOTEN
FOR RENSART RECORDS.
Sam Cooke, Frank Zappa, Nat King Cole, Kurt Weill, The Mills
Brothers, The Oak Ridge Boys, Elvis, even. . .The Partridge Family.
rock, country, classic ballads. . .The ORIGINAL PERSUASIONS:
"Sweet Joe" Russell (R.I.P.), Jimmy Hayes, Jayotis Washington, plus
"newcomers" Raymond Sanders and B.J. Jones. . .
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