Synopses & Reviews
Meet Finch, a corporate drone and blogger who invents words and imaginary lives, but none as surreal as the life he's about to lead as a decorative hermit. Meet Mr. Crane, an eccentric billionaire whose whims and moods change as often as the landscape outside his employee's cave. Join them both as they search for naturalistic serenity in a land of postmodern complexity.
Like Mr. Crane, who possesses the resources to build his own river, shape its path, and control its flow, Himmer carefully constructs a wondrous setting and creates a magical allegory that playfully explores the meaning of society, wealth, and the nature of work, and the limits of solitude in a networked world. Humor abounds as Finch, adjusting to a hermetic life, learns to paint poorly, play a reappearing flute, and contend with countless distractions, including his employer's topless wife, a meditative lion trained to befriend him, swarms of droning bees, and his employer's booming voice from speakers in the bramble
Fiction. Finch is a daydreamer whose job as a marketer of plastic plants consists mostly of updating the blogs of the imaginary people he creates. Once new management steps in and kicks him out, Finch slowly lets go of all ties to the outside world. With both his electricity and motivation shut off, he sinks into a state of oblivion, holed up in his apartment for weeks on end. But when his reply to what he thinks is innocuous spam sweeps him into the world of billionaire Mr. Crane, Finch agrees to live and work—for more money than he's ever imagined—as an ornamental hermit in a cave on Mr. Crane's estate. This darkly comic commentary on modern work and wealth probes deep-rooted questions about the nature of man, the workplace, and society (and what happens in their absence). Set in a postmodern pastoral landscape, it brings a playfulness more commonly found in urban fiction to an outdoor setting.
About the Author
Steve Himmer teaches at Emerson College in Boston, where he earned his Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and is on the faculty of the First-Year Writing Program. His stories have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Hobart, The Los Angeles Review, Night Train, Pindeldyboz, PANK, Emprise Review, and Everyday Genius. He also is a frequent blogger on writing and teaching, and edits Necessary Fiction, a webjournal from So New Publishing, a press based in Eugene, Oregon.