In the raucous and action-packed follow-up to Donnybrook, mayhem is still the order of the day―only more so
Frank Bill’s America has always been stark and violent. In his new novel, he takes things one step further: the dollar has failed; the grid is wiped out.
Van Dorn is eighteen and running solo, dodging the bloodthirsty hordes and militias that have emerged since the country went haywire. His dead father’s voice rings in his head as Van Dorn sets his sights not just on survival but also on an old-fashioned system of justice. Meanwhile, a leader has risen among the gangs―and around him swirls the cast of brawlers from Donnybrook, with their own brutal sense of right and wrong, of loyalty and justice through strength.
This is not the distant postapocalyptic future―this is tomorrow, in a world Bill has already introduced us to. Now he raises the stakes and turns his shotgun prose on our addiction to technology, the values and skills we’ve lost in the process, and what happens when the last systems of morality and society collapse.
The Savage presents the bone-chilling vision of an America where power is the only currency and nothing guarantees survival. And it presents Bill at his most ambitious, most eloquent, most powerful.
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Frank Bill is the author of the novel Donnybrook and the story collection Crimes in Southern Indiana, one of GQ’s favorite books of 2011 and a Daily Beast best debut of 2011. He lives and writes in southern Indiana.Review:
Praise for Frank Bill
“A literary shotgun blast to the face.” ―The Independent
“Bill is one hell of a storyteller.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Good Lord, where in the hell did this guy come from? Blasts off like a frigging rocket ship and hits as hard as an ax handle to the side of the head after you've snorted a nose full of battery acid. One of the wildest damn rides you're ever going to take inside a book.” ―Donald Ray Pollock, author of Knockemstiff
“Take the bark of a .45, the growl of a rusted-out muffler, and the banshee howl of a methhead on a three-day bender, and you approximate the voice of Frank Bill, a startlingly talented writer whose stories rise from the same dark lyrical well as those of Daniel Woodrell and Dorothy Allison.” ―Benjamin Percy, author of The Wilding and Refresh, Refresh
Praise for Donnybrook
"Yes, the mayhem quotient is off the charts in Bill’s debut novel, but there is much more to Donnybrook than characters maimed and murdered in nightmarish ways. The cast is memorable, the dialogue crackles, the tension is unrelenting ― and it all happens for a reason. . . You’ll be riveted by the depravity while marveling at Bill’s skill at telling this testosterone-fueled tale." ―Dave Astor, The Washington Post
"Bill is a master of conveying life in rural, blue-collar Middle America without pandering to or stereotyping his subjects. Rather, he writes with striking compassion for the kind of casually violent people you’d want on your side during the apocalypse." ―Brittany Shoot, The Rumpus
"In the world of faces punched, crank snorted, guts shot, and whiskey pounded, Frank Bill is king, and Donnybrook sets him up as the poet laureate of the apocalypse. Steeped in nonstop action, dark human need, and the coming end of civility in America, this novel is a stunning debut from an author more than willing to hold society still while it stares in the mirror." ―Christopher Krovatin, Revolver
"With an authority that reveals his many years in these rural towns, Frank Bill shows us in vivid details the places and sensations of life on the fringe . . . Above and beyond the fighting and betrayal―the broken arms, shattered teeth, and bloodstained canvas―Bill is able to make us care about these men. . . With an unflinching eye, Frank Bill has created a dark world, one of desperation and loss, showing us a part of the country, and humanity, that we would be smart to avoid." ―Richard Thomas, The Nervous Breakdown
"Bill's work is stark and visual . . . He crafts the book's many fight scenes with the grace of a choreographer, placing each character in the right place at the right time . . . The thought of what might come next [after Donnybrook] speaks to Bill’s ability to hook his readers and keep them coming back. Just don’t expect to leave him without taking a beating." ―Jeremy Estes, PopMatters
Praise for Crimes in Southern Indiana
“Crimes in Southern Indiana brings to light a major American writer of fiction, the prose equivalent of a performance by Warren Oates or a song by Merle Haggard or a photograph by Walker Evans. Tempting though it is to compare him to other writers, the fact is that five years hence every good new fiction writer to come into view will be compared to Frank Bill.” ―Scott Phillips, author of The Ice Harvest
“Bill's ever violent and never dull stories [are] a blend of Midwest Gothic and country pulp . . . [They're] over the top, but in a good way, in the way that Quentin Tarantino's first film, Reservoir Dogs, was over the top. Bill never cheats on the smells and sounds of carnage. He doesn't spare the kids and the dogs. But he mixes in a dash of dark humor ("The Accident" being the best example), an occasional nod to love and sentiment ("The Penance of Scoot McCutchen"), and he's adept at holding back, offering reward with a fine twist at story's end . . . [T]his book delivers.” ―The Seattle Times
“The hard- scrabble realism of these 17 stories will bring to mind the Ozark writer Daniel Woodrell and shades of Cormac McCarthy and Dorothy Allison--offering a view of American lives and mores that may as well be from a different planet . . . Rural idyll this is not--but it is as riveting as anything you may read in the near term.” ―The Daily Beast (Best Debuts of the Fall list)
“Flowing like awful mud and written in pulpy style, these stories paint a grisly portrait of the author's homeland. You might want to have your brass knuckles handy when reading.” ―Publishers Weekly
“This gritty, violent debut collection begins rather like pulp genre fiction then deepens into something much more significant and powerful. . . The collection opens with vignettes focused mainly on carnage. But as readers go deeper, the stories lengthen, with Bill turning his attention to psychology and character development and bringing the community to life in fascinating ways . . .. It's a bleak, hard-boiled vision of America.” ―Library Journal
“What can I say about this book? This: planning a summer trip north from Mississippi, these stories caused me to reroute to avoid Southern Indiana. Mr. Bill knows his people well, and writes like they live--on the edge of the edge. Just plain unforgettable fiction.” ―Tom Franklin, author of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter
“When you're composing your hardbitten pantheon--Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain, Patricia Highsmith, Big Jim Thompson, Elmore Leonard--save room for Frank Bill, whose Crimes in Southern Indiana reminded me how thrilling and darkly vital crime fiction used to be and is again.” ―Kyle Minor, author of In the Devil's Territory
“How can I not love a writer whose work reminds me in a huge way of some of my favorite writers: Lansdale, Woodrell, Willeford, Thompson, and Faulkner? Crimes in Southern Indiana is a brutal, hilarious, honest, unforgettable book, and Frank Bill is the freshest new voice to emerge on the crime fiction scene in recent years.” ―Jason Starr, author of The Pack
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