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Formats
Paperback Book Details
  • 05/2020
  • 9781951937126 1951937120
  • 304 pages
  • $17.95
Ebook Details
  • 05/2020
  • 978-1951937126 B087RSW7SS
  • 306 pages
  • $2.99
John Gillen
Author
American Blasphemer

Would you dance with the Devil at a rock and roll show?

Even if she wanted to kill you?

American Blasphemer is the story of a lovesick writer named John who moves to NYC to escape his dysfunctional family after getting dumped by his girlfriend.

An epic literary novel written in the tradition of Denis Johnson, Charles Bukowski, and Hunter S. Thompson, each chapter delivers new characters and unforgettable experiences - a knife fight with a sex addict, a psychedelic family Christmas, a Cathedral burning in Manhattan, a midnight visit to Elvis's grave, and more.

This harrowing journey through American carnage culminates in a showdown with a tattooed witch and warlock who try to get John to join their coven after meeting him at a concert in Times Square.

Reviews
This delightfully lecherous debut is a masterful exercise in debauchery, understanding religious interpretations, and coping with heartbreak. John has successfully escaped his religious, right-wing, abusive family and is now a struggling artist in New York City. He’s unable to get past breaking up with his girlfriend, a memory so painful that he refuses to say her name. On his quest to find ease from his feelings of isolation, John finds himself in unforgettable situations with people whose unconventional loneliness often mirrors his own, including a drug-fueled $5000 Christmas tithing with his brothers, a knife fight with a troubled nymphomaniac, and a storytelling session with a meth-addicted waitress. Perverse and critical, John continually keeps people at arm’s length, pushing others away under the guise of being unworthy of love and incapable of receiving it.

Though the book has no clear direction and sometimes feels rambling or disjointed, Gillen’s visceral imagery and uncensored candor offer more than enough entertainment value, especially when combined with his prolific, inventive use of profanity. Readers will forget about the lack of narrative drive as they immerse themselves in psychedelic rants and a fascinatingly bizarre, often quite blasphemous take on conventional Christian views as they apply to everyday life.

The beguiling, busy story comes to a strange end that encourages readers to question their own faith and personal beliefs, but it never comes across as preachy. While harkening back to classic gonzo works, Gillen’s first novel demonstrates his modern, entertainingly cynical voice. This deep dive into pain, self-righteousness, and degeneracy is sure to delight readers looking for the darker answers to life’s questions.

Takeaway: This unabashedly honest romp with heartbreak will satisfy readers who are looking for a story of self-discovery under psychedelic circumstances.

Great for fans of Irvine Welsh, Hunter S. Thompson, Charles Bukowski.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A+
Illustrations: -
Editing: B
Marketing copy: A

NetGalley

"This is a book that I could not put down. This book is crude, grotesque, vulgar, and brutally honest...I think every person claiming to be a Christian should read it." - NetGalley Review

Formats
Paperback Book Details
  • 05/2020
  • 9781951937126 1951937120
  • 304 pages
  • $17.95
Ebook Details
  • 05/2020
  • 978-1951937126 B087RSW7SS
  • 306 pages
  • $2.99

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