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Nick Antosca

Nick Antosca is the author of the novels Midnight Picnic and Fires. He was born in New Orleans and currently lives in Los Angeles. His blog is Brothercyst.

Blurbs

"Fires is a striking work reminiscent of James Salter (A Sport and a Pastime) in its combination of a cool unforgiving eye and a hot intensity of feeling and sensual immediacy."

– John Crowley, author of Little, Big

Fires is fantastic. It’s often dark, often startlingly beautiful, and it’s crammed with a smoky, foreboding atmosphere that kept pulling me along, thrilled and a little scared, toward the end.

– Scott Heim, author of Mysterious Skin

Fires is a novel full of creeping menace and near-apocalyptic lunacy . . . the book is a blast to read.

– Victor LaValle, author of The Ecstatic

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Fires

What do I say about this novel except that I really loved it.

11/23/11

It is a relatively simple tale and that in itself can be the hallmark of a great novel. Deceptivity. For the book is deceptively simple. It seems that way: just a college kid, starts dating a girl, has some jealousy issues with girl and past boyfriend / weirdo, ends up as dramatic face-off with ex-boyfriend / weirdo in protagonist’s parents’ home amidst a forest fire. That protagonist is Jon Danfield — perfect suburban white American name for a perfect white suburban American boy — flushed from his Ivy League college campus to the sweltering and curling eaves of his burning suburb’s Maryland landscape. His girlfriend is Ruth, a bit of a sadist. And James Dearborn — again, very white suburban name — plays the part of weirdo / ex-boyfriend who happens to also be a somewhat acquaintance from Jon’s hometown, said hometown currently burning. The first half of the book deals with this little love triangle between Jon, Ruth, and James. Then James and Jon go to their hometown, and to say that all hell breaks loose isn’t hyperbole despite the cliché. Metpahorically, it’s like that. The mountain’s on fire. Smoke billows into the sky. The weather is appropriately hot. And authorities recently discovered a long history of child abduction and sexual abuse, perpetrated by the local high school football coach. Without spoiling too much, things get weirder than that even. This is an all-around good read and perhaps what I’m most blown away by is the fact that Antosca wrote the book when he was, like, three or four years old or something. That is hyperbole, but really, he was very young when he wrote this debut and it’s impressive.

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1 Comment

  1. Alex M. Pruteanu said on 11/23/11 at 9:56 am Reply

    I am quite fond of Civil Coping Mechanisms as a publisher (besides personal reasons)…they seem to find really interesting, modern styles of prose in authors and publish them. I’d never heard of this book before now, but it’s looking like it will get on the 2012 reading list for me. Thanks for this, Jamie.

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