Bats of the Republic is an amazing adventure story with wonderful writing, wrapped up in one of the most beautifully designed books I've ever had the pleasure to behold! The exquisite dust jacket has an inside as well that looks like the negative, but it is different and you need to read it with a mirror. It includes a timeline! This would make a very special gift for any book lover. Recommended By Adrienne C., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Bats of the Republic is an illuminated novel of adventure, featuring hand-drawn maps and natural history illustrations, subversive pamphlets and science-fictional diagrams, and even a nineteenth-century novel-within-a-novel—an intrigue wrapped in innovative design.
In 1843, fragile naturalist Zadock Thomas must leave his beloved in Chicago to deliver a secret letter to an infamous general on the front lines of the war over Texas. The fate of the volatile republic, along with Zadock’s future, depends on his mission. When a cloud of bats leads him off the trail, he happens upon something impossible....
Three hundred years later, the world has collapsed and the remnants of humanity cling to a strange society of paranoia. Zeke Thomas has inherited a sealed envelope from his grandfather, an esteemed senator. When that letter goes missing, Zeke engages a fomenting rebellion that could free him—if it doesn’t destroy his relationship, his family legacy, and the entire republic first.
As their stories overlap and history itself begins to unravel, a war in time erupts between a lost civilization, a forgotten future, and the chaos of the wild. Bats of the Republic is a masterful novel of adventure and science fiction, of elliptical history and dystopian struggle, and, at its riveting core, of love.
“Bats of the Republic is a waking dream of America gone sideways: it’s familiar, enchanting, and just pretty damned weird in the most beguiling possible ways. Zachary Thomas Dodson has made a magnificent book.” Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler’s Wife
"You want a taste of epic Western machinations filtered through epistles and transcripts and stories-within-stories? You want an arcane tapestry of weird fantasy enhanced by transgenerational mysteries and their possible solutions? You want a character-rich and treacherous journey through the ancient Republic of Texas with a reluctant, heartsick emissary from the Museum of Flying, and with his beleaguered blood relative hundreds of years in the mechanically surveilled future? Then you want to experience this thickly threaded wonderment that Doubleday's had the good sense to publish, citizen—you really, really do." The Austin Chronicle
“Pick up Bats of the Republic and—even before you start reading—you’re instantly transfixed. The author, Zachary Thomas Dodson, is a book designer who co-founded Featherproof Books out of Chicago, and his debut novel is a glorious demonstration of what old-fashioned paper can still do in the hands of a creative genius…Bats of the Republic cumulatively becomes a book about the way books are made and the way stories work. Novels, Dodson suggests, are contraptions, jury rigged together with parts of other novels, archived letters, remembered conversations, maps, scraps of info, imagined journeys, and creatures real and strange. Archetypes of the cowboy story, tropes drawn from sci-fi, love letters, diaries, confessions all abound in this relentlessly engaging tale. Dodson has quite brilliantly exposed the gears and cogs whirring in the novelist’s imagination. It is a mad and beautiful thing.” Keith Donohue, The Washington Post
About the Author
ZACHARY THOMAS DODSON co-founded featherproof books in 2005 in Chicago. He lives with his wife in Helsinki, Finland.