Master your Minecraft
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Tour our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    What I'm Giving | November 29, 2014

    Neil Patrick Harris: IMG Neil Patrick Harris: What I'm Giving



    At Powell's, we feel the holidays are the perfect time to share our love of books with those close to us. For this special blog series, we reached... Continue »

    spacer

This item may be
out of stock.

Click on the button below to search for this title in other formats.


Check for Availability
Add to Wishlist

The Contortionist's Handbook

The Contortionist's Handbook Cover

ISBN13: 9781931561488
ISBN10: 1931561486
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Contortionist's Handbook is the story of John Derrick Vincent, an abnormally gifted child with a proclivity for mathematics beyond his years. However, he was also born with a rare deformity — ploydactylism and his genius is counterbalanced by a near-absence of social skills and episodes of severe migraines.

As an adult his migraines occur with alarming regularity. With compulsory emergency room visits due to his repeated — and near-fatal — self-medication, Vincent knows better than to trust the doctors with his seemingly incurable illness, knowing that he is a prime candidate for institutionalization if he is ever deemed a suicide risk. Following each hospital visit, drawing upon his skills as a petty forger, he reinvents himself along and his identity.

He takes up with a criminal organization, doing forgery work, but as they become disillusioned with him he ends up facing up to the mob and alienation from the one woman with whom he has entrusted the story of the true John Derrick Vincent.

Review:

"Immaculately detailed and emotionally explosive: this is rolling, riveting stuff, of a piece with stylish, edgy movies like Memento and Requiem For a Dream." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Review:

"What sticks about this remarkable debut are its pitch-perfect shock ending and John Vincent himself — his complex, conflicted mind, original voice and unnervingly self-defeating existence." Time Out magazine

Review:

"Clevenger cleverly creates a modern-day Mr. Ripley." Booklist

Review:

"Clevenger delivers images that sear themselves into your mind. The result is a novel that is hard, pure, remarkably accomplished." The Seattle Times

Synopsis:

John Dolan Vincent is a talented young forger with a proclivity for mathematics and drug addiction. In the face of his impending institutionalization, he invents a new identity for himself aware that, in his world, the truth will not set him free, but lock him up — or get him killed.

Synopsis:

A forger must con his way out of a mental institution.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Clark, October 20, 2007 (view all comments by Clark)
I was surprised by how much I actually enjoyed this book. Clevenger uses a very interesting and refreshing premise for this book. John Vincent (main character) is someone who makes the reader thankful that they are not in his position, but still makes the reader sympathetic for what Vincent has gone through in his life. Craig Clevenger shows serious talent for writing and I am looking forward to reading other novels of his. Overall, "A" grade for this selection.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(6 of 10 readers found this comment helpful)
Roger Sarao, August 22, 2006 (view all comments by Roger Sarao)
The Contortionist's Handbook is an amazing debut novel. Craig Clevenger has written a book that appeals to the buried desire within us all to live life as someone who is not you. And he has done it with some of the most meticulous prose to appear in modern fiction in a long time. A master with detail, Clevenger also keeps the reader guessing as to how the protagonist will outwit the experts through superb "mind games" masked as physician-patient conversations. No matter how erudite the doctor, John Dolan Vincent has the upper hand -- he knows his stuff because he HAS to know it. If he fails to convince the medical staff that he is not insane or suicidal, he will be locked up in the Earthbound equivalent of hell, the Mental Institution.

Clevenger is part of a new wave of modern noir, or blank fiction, or perhaps there is no term that captures this emerging literary movement. Along with Will Christopher Baer, Stephen Graham Jones, Chuck Palahniuk, Joey Goebel and others, Craig makes NOW a great time for lovers of fiction of a different flavor. Jump in early, there's a lot more coming from this talented author.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(11 of 22 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781931561488
Publisher:
MacAdam/Cage Publishing
Location:
San Francisco
Author:
Clevenger, Craig
Subject:
Psychological
Subject:
Confession
Subject:
Forgers
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Number:
Pbk. ed. 2003.
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series Volume:
18445
Publication Date:
20030931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
220
Dimensions:
8.89x6.20x.64 in. .73 lbs.

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » World History » General

The Contortionist's Handbook
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 220 pages MacAdam/Cage Publishing - English 9781931561488 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Immaculately detailed and emotionally explosive: this is rolling, riveting stuff, of a piece with stylish, edgy movies like Memento and Requiem For a Dream."
"Review" by , "What sticks about this remarkable debut are its pitch-perfect shock ending and John Vincent himself — his complex, conflicted mind, original voice and unnervingly self-defeating existence."
"Review" by , "Clevenger cleverly creates a modern-day Mr. Ripley."
"Review" by , "Clevenger delivers images that sear themselves into your mind. The result is a novel that is hard, pure, remarkably accomplished."
"Synopsis" by , John Dolan Vincent is a talented young forger with a proclivity for mathematics and drug addiction. In the face of his impending institutionalization, he invents a new identity for himself aware that, in his world, the truth will not set him free, but lock him up — or get him killed.
"Synopsis" by , A forger must con his way out of a mental institution.
spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.