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The lives of a dozen people in Cincinnati, Ohio are inextricably linked in this unrelenting first novel by Nathan Singer. A publicist who writes checks to charities to relieve a guilty conscience, a convict who rants in an underground 'zine, an artist with a controversial portfolio, a runaway engaging in 'petty terrorism', and an eight year old girl named Dawn at the center of it all watch as the world falls down around them.
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Nathan Singer has been a musician, actor, writer, and experimental performing artist in the underground scene for the past eleven years. He is currently the vocalist/guitarist/principle songwriter for the psychedelic blues metal band Absinthium, and is the leader of the avant-garde music and spoken word collective Voice In The Cage. His first full stage play Chasing The Wolf (based on his novel by the same name) is currently in production at the Cincinnati alternative theater Performance Gallery and will have its world premiere in June. His extended ensemble performance piece Images of a Beating Heart will premiere at the first annual Cincinnati Fringe Festival in mid-May.
Nathan's style of performance writing has been called thrash--fast, edgy, abrasive, rhythmic, and confrontational, like the music that shares its name. Though no one seems to know for sure when his work started to be referred to as "thrash" or who first said it, but the adjective fits perfectly and has stuck (Says Nathan, "It's kinda like beat or slam, but getting thrashed hurts more,"). His shows are often extremely intense and unpredictable.From Publishers Weekly:
Outrage with mainstream American culture fuels this crackling, darkly comic debut. Set largely in Cincinnati, Ohio, this "thrash novel" critiques and satirizes contemporary culture as it jumpily follows a motley crew of characters existing on society's fringes, where the sins of the mainstream are most powerfully felt. Members of the vivid cast include Caroline Powell, a world-weary publicist reduced to representing the likes of Joey Spitfire, the jailed creator of an underground zine called Psychobilly Freakout!; Jeff Mican, an artist whose works are so disturbing they induce vomiting; D'antre Philips, aka Daddy Molotov, multiple felon and author of a YA book called Princess Africa Jones; and Dalton Brackage, a gay, opium-smoking runaway who plans to help a group of American Indians blow up a national monument. At the novel's center is eight-year-old Dawn Mican, Jeff's daughter, who watches with a child's wide eyes the adult chaos around her. With a keenly developed sense of disillusionment and a real talent for capturing the vernacular, Singer leads readers on a raging, rollicking ride through the underbelly of American society, expressing not only genuine frustration with the immorality of the dominant culture, but also lamenting the absence of easy answers. As Dawn says, "It's really hard to know what's right. What if nothing is?" (July)
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