Funded! This project was successfully funded on October 7, 2012.

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Photographer/musician Bob Reuter's life in his own words. Debauchery, race, & counter-culture amongst urban degradation, in paperback.

The Saint Louis Projects and author Bob Reuter need your help in bringing a devastating, grittily beautiful manuscript to the audience it deserves. Reuter's memoirs are a testament to the history of urban St. Louis, deftly illustrating a life thrust alternately under her fickle limelight and suffocating underbelly. Your pledge will help fund the first print run of Tales of a Talking Dog as a perfect-bound paperback with black and white photo inserts.

Details on the book, the man, and the legend below. 

Photo by Bob Reuter
Photo by Bob Reuter

Bob Reuter’s memoir, Tales of a Talking Dog, will be published in 2012 by the Saint Louis Projects, an imprint of JKPublishing. Reuter’s dark, sparse, and frank descriptive prose tromps through personal stories of his childhood in North St. Louis, devastating dealings with drug abuse, failed personal relationships, Midwestern counter-culture, and brushes with regional fame. An enigmatic photographer and popular musician, Reuter is lesser known for his stories, often privately shared among friends. However, his deft and unsparing recollections, dryly funny observances of human behavior, and singular perspective on the rapidly evolving demographics and culture of the city will be savored by many.

the king of south city

Bob Reuter is perhaps St. Louis's most infamous personality. Known to some as the King of South City, he is an integral part of the local music scene, both as player and purveyor of rock and roll. Currently the lead singer, songwriter, and creative force of his band Alley Ghost, Bob also shares his vinyl collection on the KDHX 88.1 FM radio program Bob's Scratchy Records.

With a music career spanning nearly five decades, it is no surprise that, in 1997, Bob turned his interest towards documenting the underground music scene where he spent much of his life. His grainy, self-developed and hand-printed black-and-white photographs have become a barometer for what's hip in a city where moods shift as quickly as the weather. These photos have been the subject of art shows and many were recently published in the collection Light Fuse and Run.

Bob's voice and manner of storytelling--visual, musical, and oral--have become notorious in the city via these avenues, his personal interactions, and word-of-mouth mythology. The impact of Bob's life and cultural influence evinced in the 2010 short documentary Broken and Wonderful.

photo by Bob Reuter
photo by Bob Reuter

the book

Perhaps only Bob's friends know that it is Bob himself who best tells his own story. Since 2000, Bob Reuter has been chronicling his memories and adventures via informal letters and notes that he has posted on his website and personal facebook page. Erin Wiles of the Saint Louis Projects publishing imprint read these rough-hewn missives and recognized their promise. Bob's deftly-sketched narratives trace the history of a man and his city from the domestic turbulence of the 50s and 60s through the queasy decay of the 80s and on through minor successes in the new millennium.

Bob's stories underpin the current of rock-and-roll. Bob's voice speaks the decay of North St. Louis and reveals the struggling renaissance of its South. Bob's words emit a raw, un-self-conscious power while tracing the dichotomies of addiction and recovery, depression and manic elation, destruction and rebirth.

An excerpt from TALES OF A TALKING DOG
An excerpt from TALES OF A TALKING DOG

the campaign

The Saint Louis Projects and JKPublishing need your help in bringing Bob's memoir to its deserved audience. Unfortunately, our print run capacity and handmade aesthetic are out-stripped by the length of Reuter's manuscript and the volume of expected sales. For the first time ever, we are outsourcing printing and assemblage of a manuscript, and are selling an industrially-printed, perfect-bound edition of Tales of a Talking Dog. The memoir is to be accompanied by a hand-bound chapbook of Bob's poetry, lyrics, and prose-poems.

The major disadvantage of industrial printing is that it is cost-prohibitive, especially compared with our usual overhead. We usually print in small batches so each run can fund the next. Commercial printers don't work this way. The more copies you order at once, the cheaper each copy is. Many copies must be printed in the first run to make this financially feasible. SLP needs around $700 to publish the first run of Bob's book and fund an advertising campaign.

This Kickstarter fundraiser functions as an avenue to gather pre-sale revenue in order to garner this lump sum. In return for your pledge--that is, beyond your general satisfaction of having brought a great work of art to fruition--you will receive prizes ranging from a limited-edition postcard of Bob's work, to the perfect bound book itself, or an exclusive portrait session with Reuter.

Prizes can be shipped for the additional listed cost or picked up at our book release event in October. Details on the release date and location are forthcoming.

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  • Pledge $2 or more
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    1 backer

    Limited edition postcard (1 of 4) featuring Bob's photography and an excerpt from the memoir.

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    0 backers

    The above postcard, but signed by Reuter.

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    2 backers

    Electronic copy (PDF) of TALES OF A TALKING DOG and a signed postcard.

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  • Pledge $15 or more
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    13 backers

    Paperback, perfect-bound edition of TALES OF A TALKING DOG, along with the digital version and a signed postcard. Pick up at St. Louis release party in October or add $4 for domestic shipping.

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    10 backers

    TALES OF A TALKING DOG paperback and other prizes above in addition to a handmade book of Bob's poetry: WHERE THE DARK ONES RUN is 30 pages and bound with darkroom scraps. Pick up at St. Louis release party in October or add $6 for domestic shipping.

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    4 backers Limited (6 left of 10)

    TALES OF A TALKING DOG paperback, electronic version of the memoir and poetry book, 2 postcards signed by Bob, and a framed 8x10 hand-printed Reuter photograph. Pick up at St. Louis release party in October or add $15 for domestic shipping.

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  • Pledge $150 or more
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    6 backers All gone!

    Receive one of only 10 hand-bound hard-cover editions of Tales of a Talking Dog--signed by Bob, containing hand-developed photographs, and crafted by our bookmakers--along with the paperback memoir, the handbound poetry book, all 4 postcards signed by Bob, and all electronic versions of the texts. Pick up at St. Louis release party in October or add $15 for domestic shipping.

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    0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)

    The paperback memoir, the handbound poetry book, all 4 postcards signed by Bob, all electronic versions of the texts, AND an exclusive portrait session with Bob Reuter in St. Louis. Includes 10 prints.

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Funding period

- (30 days)