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Buffalo Lockjawby Greg Ames
Synopses & Reviews
"Buffalo Lockjaw, like its charming, bitter screw-up of a narrator, reaches finally for larger meaning, and succeeds. . . . A brazen and tender book about a city and a scene, a mother and a son, and the beauty and pain of several kinds of love."
--Sam Lipsyte, author of Home Land
"Ames knows how to build up the world with a light hand while still getting to the complicated and painful ways we muddle through. Funny, fresh, and generous."
--Aimee Bender, author of The Girl in the Flammable Skirt
"In Buffalo Lockjaw, love of one's parents and love of one's hometown mix powerfully with the mad undertow of loss that seems as inevitable in life as gravity."
--Jonathan Ames, author of Wake Up, Sir!
"Greg Ames, one of the funniest writers I've ever read, faces dead-on the most terrifying event in a person's life. Buffalo Lockjaw is frightening, heart-rending, and beautiful. . . . I didn't want it to end."
--Poe Ballantine, author of Things I Like About America
"Greg Ames manages to evoke place and expose the complexities of character in a single swift phrase. It is a funny-sad, heartbreaking, hypnotically readable debut."
--Adrienne Miller, author of The Coast of Akron James Fitzroy isn't doing so well. Though his old friends in Buffalo believe his life in New York City is a success, in fact he writes ridiculous taglines for a greeting card company. Now he's coming home on Thanksgiving to visit his aging father and dying mother, and unlike other holidays, he's not sure how this one is going to end. Buffalo Lockjaw introduces a fresh new voice in American fiction.
"Dreary, winter-bound Buffalo, N.Y., is as much a character as any of the slackers populating Ames's darkly humorous debut about a young man with a copy of Suicide for Dummies in his car and a 56-year-old mother with Alzheimer's who he believes wants to die. James, 28, fled hometown stasis in the mid-'90s for Manhattan, where he writes greeting card verse for Kwality Kards. Back home at Thanksgiving to visit his mother in a nursing home, he reconnects awkwardly with old friends who hail his supposed big-city success. His family isn't as awestruck. Father Rodney, a solid citizen rooted in country club bonhomie, laments his son's lack of discipline, and his lesbian sister, Kate, a physical therapist visiting with her girlfriend from Oregon, mocks her brother's career path. Both evade his oblique references to euthanasia — the real reason for his return. Ames's depiction of James's bedside concern for his mother straddles the line between caustically comic and wrenchingly emotional, while the wry riffs on family tension and the sad state of Buffalo that appear throughout this fine first novel don't undercut the serious consideration of murder or mercy for terminal patients." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
James Fitzroy isn't doing so well. Though his old friends in Buffalo believe his life in New York City is a success, in fact he writes ridiculous taglines for a greeting card company. Now he's coming home on Thanksgiving to visit his aging father and dying mother, and unlike other holidays, he's not sure how this one is going to end. Buffalo Lockjaw introduces a fresh new voice in American fiction.
About the Author
Greg Ames' stories have appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2007, Open City, McSweeney's, and other publications. He also received honorable mention in the 2003 Pushcart Prize Awards. He grew up in Buffalo, NY, and now lives in Brooklyn, and teaches Creative Writing at Brooklyn College.
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