Editorial Reviews for this title:
Fiction. In the wake of an affair that has cost him his marriage and career, Marcus is a lost man. Desperate for reprieve from his loneliness and regret, he accepts an invitation to go to the outskirts of North Carolina and visit Edgar, an old high school classmate burdened with mysterious troubles of his own. In Edgar's beautiful, empty home, their separate sorrows draw Marcus into a series of unnerving situations, culminating in a proposed deer hunt. Marcus agrees, despite his inexperience and aversion to killing, and as the hunt draws closer, he must confront the violent prospect with a candor and recognition that have, until now, evaded him. Elegant and darkly moving, A FAMILIAR BEAST is a haunting tale of a man's search for redemption.
"Impressively taut and meticulously drawn. As we follow Marcus from reckoning to something like redemption, Gianopoulous's wisdom and humanity light up this darkly comic, bittersweet journey. Here is a gifted writer in full control of his craft—and impact. A FAMILIAR BEAST is a perfectly-executed shot through the heart."—Jean Nathan
Amazon Best Books of the Month, December 2012: Though this slender paperback has the look and feel of an overstuffed (if menacing) greeting card, there’s nothing slight about the emotional muddle navigated by sulky, “recently disgraced” Marcus in the wake of his calamitous, ill-timed affair. Estranged from his wife and their newborn child, Marcus makes a desperate, half-thought-out visit to a childhood friend who’s had fluky success in tech and lives in an enormous but mostly empty house in a North Carolina suburb. Panio Gianopoulos’s subtly suspenseful debut elegantly explores the sorrowful angst of a certain species of modern man, the kind who doesn’t quite know what it means to be a man. (Gianopoulos's wife, the actor Molly Ringwald, explored some similar themes in her recent collection, When It Happens to You). "You’re a shadow of a man," a woman snarls at Marcus after they meet at a bar and she hears his story. Marcus knows she's right. "Had he learned anything?" he asks himself, searching for some measure of relief. -- Neal Thompson
" A Familiar Beast is superb. With elegant prose, unforgettable scenes and Philip Roth-like psychological insights, Panio Gianopoulos's debut novella marks the arrival of a bright and gifted writer." --Jim Lynch, author of Truth Like the Sun
" A Familiar Beast is a swan song to love and lovers, and with its devastating wit and tender bitterness it kills the easy, common hope for meaning, significance, and, ultimately, redemption." --Stefan Kiesbye, author of Your House Is on Fire, Your Children All Gone
"Elegant, erudite and witty, this extremely well-observed and surprisingly suspenseful story offers more insights into love and human relationships than most authors manage in works three times as long." --Adam Langer, author of author of Crossing California
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