Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Proust Questionnaire: Jon Berger the Goon Dog

Jon Berger's debut short story collection, Goon Dog, was just released by Gob Pile Press. I'm about finished with it, and a review will be forthcoming shortly on this here blog. Jon has that Kerouac talent of peppering just the right amount of love for his characters, which reveals itself in every story. You know that love, the one you have for your imperfect friends and all the wonderfully wrecked follies of your youth. His stories are squeezable, and are universal in the sense that they remind you of your own childhood friends that turned into good stories to tell, those beautiful, damaged souls that help build every bit of character you have once you reach adulthood. It's the best kind of American nostalgia.

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Someplace far away with an ocean and a waterfall and big trees and cliffs and nobody can tell me what to do.

2. What is your greatest fear?

Being taken advantage of

3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?


4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?


5. Which living person do you most admire?

Keanu Reeves

6. What is your greatest extravagance?

Mountain bike

7. What is your current state of mind?

head cold but comfortable and content. The Lions are losing.

8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

+ 10 charisma

9. On what occasion do you lie?

job interviews

10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?

I don’t have wings

11. Which living person do you most despise?

Anyone who is a politician

12. What is the quality you most like in a man?


13. What is the quality you most like in a woman?


14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?


my ears are ringing.

I can’t beat the god damn fucking fire giant in Elden Ring.

15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?

my dead dog

16. When and where were you happiest?

Late teens – early twenties. Hometown, prowling the streets and backroads.

17. Which talent would you most like to have?


18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Learning disability in math

19. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Goon Dog

20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

Golden Eagle

21. Where would you most like to live?

Somewhere secluded on the coast of the Keweenaw peninsula

22. What is your most treasured possession?

Vegeta statue that I’ll never disclose the price of

23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?


24. What is your favorite occupation?

jumping over cars or running through wood paneled walls in basements or mosh pits

25. What is your most marked characteristic?

physical strength

26. What do you most value in your friends?

super powers and big hugs and sharp claws. Ride or die mentality

27. Who are your favorite writers?

Jim Harrison, Murakami, Bud Smith, Scott McClanahan, Larry Brown, Steve Anwyll, Sam Pink, Jon Lindsay, Donald Ray Pollock, Oscar Wilde, Kafka, Ottessa

28. Who is your hero of fiction?

The Pinconning Orange Juice Guy

29. Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Lucian of Samosata

30. Who are your heroes in real life?

Giles Corey. Anything that faces adversity.

31. What are your favorite names?



32. What is it that you most dislike?

Lawyers on a day with high humidity

33. What is your greatest regret?

not pursuing writing or art earlier due to the fear of what other people in my hometown or family might think or say.

34. How would you like to die?

feeling lucky

35. What is your motto?

I think you should kick my ass

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