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Curse the Namesby Robert Arellano
Synopses & Reviews
One of Deckled Edge Books's "5 Books With Diverse Perspectives You Can Read Today"
"In this unsettling mix of noir and paranormal obsession . . . Arellano displays a sly, Hitchcockian touch."
"Arellano pulls off the not-inconsiderable feat of making the disintegration of his hero more compelling than the end of the world as we know it."
". . . [N]othing in New Mexico has ever been more secret than Los Alamos, the Atomic City, where a diverse group of geniuses built the first atomic bombs and changed the face of the world forever. Thats the setting and premise for this excellent novel by Cuban-American Robert Arellano. Disaster is about to happen and one man can avert it . . . maybe."
--Globe and Mail (Canada)
"Arellano's taut prose [is] a trip into the mind of a man on the edge of delirium, piecing together a puzzle at the expense of his marriage and his sanity."
"Arellano writes with pure movement and action . . . Curse the Names does exactly what Hitchcock and The Twilight Zone did so well. It takes the ordinary, the benign and relatable and turns it into a fast-paced romp with unexpected events and realizations at every turn. Dont be surprised if you start this book and dont look up again until youre finished. Though its release has come at the doorstep of 2012, Arellano has definitely earned a late addition to my best books of 2011."
--Ryan W. Bradley, The Nervous Breakdown
"Readers, fasten your seat belts for this one. Arellanos novel is a dizzying Thompsonian concoction of noir crime thriller and alternately nightmarish and comic surreal psychodrama, spiced up with a heaping handful of local northern New Mexico flavor."
"The nightmare intensity to Arellano's prose gets under your skin. You won't want to turn the lights out after reading it."
--Charles Ardai, Edgar Award winner
High on a mesa in the mountains of New Mexico, a small town hides a dreadful secret. On a morning very soon there will be an accident that triggers a terrible chain reaction, and the world we know will be wiped out.
James Oberhelm, a reporter at Los Alamos National Laboratory, already sees the devastation, like the skin torn off a moment that is yet to be. He believes he can prevent an apocalypse, but first James must escape the devices of a sensuous young blood tech, a lecherous old hippie, a predator in a waking nightmare, and a forsaken adobe house high away in the Sangre de Cristo mountains whose dark history entwines them all.
A massive bomb is ticking beneath the sands of the Southwest, and time is running out to send a warning. James has to find a way to pass along the message--even if it ruins him.
"In this unsettling mix of noir and paranormal obsession from Edgar-finalist Arellano (Havana Lunar), James Oberhelm, who writes banal feel-good pieces for the official publication of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and whose 10-year marriage has long since slipped into autopilot, accepts the invitation of an attractive young tech at the local blood bank to party with her and her goth friends at a remote abandoned house in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The girls never show, but soon after Oberhelm visits the strange old adobe house, he begins to have nightmares of an impending radioactive disaster. Suddenly, the 'sackcloth-and-ashes people,' the ascetic group of wandering burnouts who appear in Los Alamos around the anniversary of the atomic bomb detonation, don't seem quite so insane. Oberhelm's life quickly spins into a drug-fueled mess as he becomes consumed by his need to alert the world before it's too late. Arellano displays a sly, Hitchcockian touch." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
A chilling psychological noir/horror novel from Edgar Award finalist Robert Arellano.
Robert Arellano, author of the Edgar-nominated crime novel Havana Lunar, returns with another spine-tingling noir from Akashic Books.
"Curse the Names reads like a top-notch thriller. Arrellano is a master at mining the psychological landscape of his characters."—George Mastras, author of Fidali's Way
In the mountains of New Mexico lies a small town with a terrible secret, where an accident triggers a terrible chain of events. James Oberhelm, a reporter at Los Alamos National Laboratory, anticipates the tragedy, like the skin torn off a moment that is yet to be. A massive bomb is ticking beneath the sands of the Southwest, and James has to find a way to pass along the message—even if it ruins him.
Robert Arellano is the author of the novel Havana Lunar, a finalist for the Edgar Award. He lived in New Mexico for seven years in the small mountain town of Dixon. He has recorded music and toured with Bonnie "Prince" Billy, and he teaches in the College of Arts and Sciences at Southern Oregon University.
About the Author
Robert Arellano is the author of the Edgar-nominated noir Havana Lunar and two earlier novels, all published by Akashic Books. Writing as Eddy Arellano, he collaborated with three artists on the graphic novel Dead in Desemboque from Soft Skull Press, and as Bobby Rabyd he created the Web's first interactive novel, Sunshine '69. He lived for seven years in the small mountain town of Dixon, New Mexico, and he now teaches in the College of Arts and Sciences at Southern Oregon University.
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