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A Little Bit, by Erik Tinsley

Hello America Stereo Cassette

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"Listen, when I tell you I PROFOUNDLY love Erik Tinsley’s writing, I want you to know I am not fucking around. I love his writing like a dragon loves gold, like dry plants love rain. Erik’s new audio book, A Little Bit, is also about love—though a lot of this is the tragic kind (which is, of course, timeless and universal because we have all been there in some sense, and if we haven’t we’re not trying hard enough and undoubtedly living in fear). Erik’s relationships with men in this book have been described elsewhere as a “straight guy's string of failed gay relationships,” which might leave some of you with questions. Yes! Good! Maybe it’ll spark new dialogue that extends outside this particular narrative. What does it mean to be gay? What does it mean to be straight or a boy or a girl or neither or, shit, man, human AT ALL? Sure, yes, PLEASE ask questions, go deep, rip out your steaming fucking guts, tear yourself apart. That is one of the (many) beautiful forces at play here. Erik’s writing does not give it to you in easy, basic, neatly compartmentalized black and white terms. There’s mystery here, glorious feral AMBIGUITY, and even more questions (all of which are fine things that the best art gives us—fine and TRUE because life is often a big, wild mess of mystery and the finest of the fine always serve it up to you in a way that makes you WORK for it).

There’s a lot more going on here than love or, y’know, like, sexuality or gender. I’ve always been into that Walker Percy quote about how “American novels are about everything.” A Little Bit gives you a lotta bit in an hour’s time—car rides, haircuts, real pain, humor (so much legit humor), fashion, work, petty strangers who judge and judge and fuckin’ JUDGE, California freeway names that are very much unto themselves SPECIFIC to (us) Californians, internet community, pet lizards, masculinity, guns, personal Renn Faire history, family (lots of it), pastries, 3-D printed dicks, dreams, poetry, violence, high school, booze, Satanism, kissing, advice, race, military culture, and through it all a photo begins to emerge from the murky chemical bath in the dark room giving you an idea re: Who Our Narrator Is. And you know what? You LIKE him. I mean, I did. (I do.) Maybe YOU won’t, and if you won’t, if you don’t, you have no place at my table, so be GONE from here. Be gone and never return. Slouch eastward from our western heart, beast. This is a place of loves that are WHOLLY profound, of questions, and, oh man, of BEAUTIFUL, lyrical, encyclopedic DETAIL. A Little Bit is a spirited, relatable, lovingly catalogued story that will make you feel richer for having heard it. And Erik’s voice? It is puuuure fuckin’ HONEY and gorgeous dulcet TONES. I am beyond proud and honored to release A Little Bit on my little baby record label. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy."
-Adam Gnade