At some point I’ll put all the unpublished novels up here, but for now I want to start with the one I’m proudest of–the one I finished two years ago, a book called Right In Front. It spent some time bouncing around a couple of NYC agencies & small publishers, but in the end…sigh. Please read it. It’s far & away the best thing I’ve ever written.
The next one’s almost finished, along w/a dozen or so short stories. In the meantime, I continue writing non-fiction for $$$. Here’s some stuff about the book I salvaged from the (failed) query letter. The link comes after. If you can’t figure out how to d/l the thing, send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or the e-mail I set up for the 2nd round of query letters, email@example.com.
Right in Front, a story of the rapture/end times/apocalypse that is set, inevitably enough, in the Florida Keys. It begins with a resort pool inexplicably closed for repairs and ends with a makeshift raft on the ocean being lifted towards the stars by an unseen creature below.
Ostensibly there to search for his estranged father, because ‘every son is entitled to the gift of watching his father die,’ the narrator’s journey carries him deep into the Key Abismo underworld of prisons and strip clubs, unstable Dunkin Donuts employees and plastic surgery survivors, all overseen by a retired judge who rules over the area with a barely concealed violence.
Hilariously twisted and very, very sad, it’s the Great American Novel for an America that is. It’s a hell of a lot of fun to read, although it’s the kind of fun that makes you feel a little guilty for enjoying it. In this sense, RIF resembles television, or the internet, or pornography. It’s also beautifully written, with heart-stoppingly original prose. In this sense it resembles poetry.
It’s a quick-moving evocative mix of satire & dread, a bleak hilarity packed with epigrams. A sentimental streak runs underneath it all, but few people ever seem to notice—sometimes this bothers me, sometimes it brings me great joy. Its silliness is never just silly, its tragedy never simply tragic. The book is meant to work on constantly shifting levels—a shallow opulence, a profound emptiness.
The sickness isn’t gratuitous. I merely wrote what the subject matter required. It’s just that you can’t make an omelet about the dark side of 21st century US society, a bleak, sidesplitting freakshow of American decay, without breaking a few decency eggs in the process.
Who wants to go to heaven anyways? It’s probably just filled with aborted fetuses.
There’s also stuff like Driftwood is the bones of the mangroves spit forth from the ocean, so I’m not some kind of demented hack. Or if you want to split the difference between poetry and squirming: Like most American men, I find myself irresistibly attracted to anyone with the body of a woman and the mind of a child.
It’s as sad and broken, filled with numb shock and despair, endlessly unsatisfying connections, as modern life itself. This book exists for many reasons, but I drove myself to cram as many literary pyrotechnics, as many epigrams, as many quotable one-liners, as much suspense, into the text as possible w/o overwhelming the story and dragging the whole thing to a halt. You really owe it to yourself to read this. It’s the most fun you’ll have all month.
Partial List of Themes Touched Upon: abuse of power, hero worship, senseless violence, materialism, intolerance, hypocrisy, guns, a lack of infrastructure both internal & external, steel drums, professional football, irrational biases, suicide tourism, and jimmy buffett.
CLICK LINK BELOW TO DOWNLOAD. AFTER YOU READ IT YOUR LIFE WILL ALWAYS BE THE SAME.