Synopses & Reviews
Simon Jacobs's String Follow is a darkly comic suburban Gothic about a malevolent force that targets a group of Ohio misfits, harnessing their angst for its sinister designs.
Something strange is happening to the teens in Adena, Ohio.
A mysterious force is seeking inroads: vulnerabilities to exploit, friendships to hijack, untapped rage to harness toward its own ends. Who will serve it best? Claire is abrasive and aimless, embarrassed by her privileged upbringing. Weak-willed David is consumed by a recent breakup and harbors fantasies of violent, cultish orgies. Greg silently wages war against the voices in his head, while his sister Beth goes quietly mad, surrounded by lights. And at the center is the empathetic, naïve, sensitive Sarah. The force wants her most of all. The question is whether she will be the key to its success or to its destruction.
Eerie, hypnotic, and shot through with dark comedy, String Follow is a razor-sharp suburban Gothic that cuts deep, exposing the sweating, bleeding truth of how kids become adults in twenty-first-century America. In spellbinding, incisive prose, Simon Jacobs blends the startlingly original and the uncannily familiar, revealing the dark chaos that lurks under the surface of Midwestern suburbia.
"String Follow is a work of evil genius that put me in a literal trance and didn't relinquish me until the final page. Like the irresistibly wise, dark, and unfathomable force it conjures, the voice got in my head and tainted my soul. I loved every insidious second." Mona Awad, author of Bunny
"A terrifying glimpse into teen anomie and rootlessness...Daring and stylish [with] flashes of black humor...the darkness is so relentless and remorseless that the reader can feel pursued by it, punished. Grim, violent Midwestern gothic — hard to watch, hard to turn away from." Kirkus
“Jacobs (Palaces) tackles the traumas of adolescence and the desperation of suburban life with this grimy, layered tale….Readers looking for a horrific take on coming of age may want to give this a try.” Publishers Weekly
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About the Author
Simon Jacobs is the author of the novel Palaces and the short fiction collections Masterworks and Saturn. His fiction has appeared in Tin House, Black Warrior Review, and Joyland. Originally from Dayton, Ohio, he now lives in Portland, Oregon.