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Ablutions: Notes for a Novelby Patrick Dewitt
Synopses & Reviews
On its way to becoming a cult classic, Ablutions is the much-acclaimed debut of a literary star in the making.
In a famous but declining Hollywood bar, there works a barman. Morbidly amused by the decadent decay of his surroundings, he establishes tentative friendships with variously pathological regulars, all the while making notes for his novel.
But as his tenure at the bar continues, he begins to serve himself more often than his customers. His damaged life begins to unravel completely. He loses his wife, his way, himself. Trapped by his habits and his loneliness, he hatches a terrible plan of escape, his only chance for redemption.
Patrick deWitts stunning debut novel has been compared to the work of Charles Bukowski, Denis Johnson, and Hunter S. Thompson. It is funny and horrifying and beautiful and honest. It is a marvel” (L.A.Weekly), the kind of book whose dirty realism” makes Gary Shteyngart want to roll in the mud with” the author. Ablutions is destined to be a backlist favorite for many years.
Advance Praise for Ablutions:
"Ablutions is funny and precarious, a novel that shifts the ground under the reader's feet, a naked-lightbulb self-examination that doesn't shy from high comedy. deWitt has a gimlet eye and a dead aim with words."-- Luc Sante
"deWitt is the 21st century poet of Hollywood's desperate souls, the misbegotten, broken, and the lost. Beware, beware. But read Ablutions." --Chris Offutt
"Ablutions is a novel about the deteriorating health of our livers and the malaise of our dreams. deWitt takes on our diseases and depravity with prose that may yet rescue us from the gutter." — Salvador Plascencia
"deWitt's writing is deeply charismatic — a coiled ramble of note perfect sentences, mysterious and burbling declarative tones, the saddest humor imaginable, and the strange physical proportions of a magician's top hat. I love this novel very much." — Dennis Cooper
In a famous but declining Hollywood bar works A Barman. Morbidly amused by the decadent decay of his surroundings, he watches the patrons fall into their nightly oblivion, making notes for his novel. In the hope of uncovering their secrets and motives, he establishes tentative friendships with the cast of variously pathological regulars.
But as his tenure at the bar continues, he begins to serve himself more often than his customers, and the moments he lives outside the bar become more and more painful: he loses his wife, his way, himself. Trapped by his habits and his loneliness, he realizes he will not survive if he doesn't break free. And so he hatches a terrible, necessary plan of escape and his only chance for redemption.
Step into Ablutions and step behind the bar, below rock bottom, and beyond the everyday take on storytelling for a brilliant, new twist on the classic tale of addiction and its consequences.
About the Author
Patrick deWitt is also the author of the Booker shortlisted novel The Sisters Brothers. He was born in 1975 on Vancouver Island in British Columbia and has also lived in California, Washington, and Oregon, where he currently resides with his wife and son. He has worked as a laborer, a clerk, a dishwasher, and a bartender. Ablutions is his first novel.
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