Aliens, Drywall, and a Unicycle
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About the Author
"With a reckless and savage humor, St. Jarre captures the desperation and madness of a small New England town with grace and compassion."
-Shellie Leger, author of Lonely Specks
"Small-town reporter Tom Tibbetts' weekly assignment is simple: profile one of his eccentric Cooper Building neighbors, providing a bit of harmless 'refrigerator' news for Portage, New Hampshire, readers. Soon, Tom finds himself entangled in the lives of the endearingly odd, keenly observed cast of characters. Aliens, Drywall, and a Unicycle invites us to play wingman on Tom's journey from outsider to adopted son. St. Jarre deftly balances absurdist elements with easygoing dialogue and relaxed, immersive pacing; wit and warmth flow beneath the surface action so that when darkness strikes, Tom knows he is too changed to step away. By book's end, Tom likes these folks even at their most unlikeable, and so do we."
-Kim Green, author of Live a Little and Paging Aphrodite
"For me, the most beautiful books are always the strange ones, and Aliens, Drywall, and a Unicycle is both strange and beautiful. It's a novel about a culture-the 90s-that, in this moment, we're both leaving behind and reviving. Like so many of the great lean works of fiction-Cannery Row, Jesus' Son-Kevin St. Jarre's book obeys its own singular vision of place, character, idea and, more than anything, meaning. And, like all the best books of its kind, this novel trembles on the verge of almost making no sense-and yet, by the final pages, I found myself feeling that rare emotion that only truly unique art inspires."
-Jaed Coffin, author of A Chant to Soothe Wild Elephants and Roughhouse Friday
"Aliens, Drywall, and a Unicycle-the title doesn't even begin to get to all the juxtapositional hijinks in this poignant, funny, and breakneck debut. Our man Tom lives in an apartment building with a cast of alternately alluring, zany, dangerous, and lovable characters whose stories ineluctably become his own. Kevin St. Jarre writes with life and humor and blessed heartfelt economy, reaches into souls and pulls out secrets it turns out we all share. Antic, compassionate, sweet and sometimes deadly, this novel will keep you reading till the batteries run out in your flashlight, dark night of the soul."
-Bill Roorbach, author of Life Among Giants, The Remedy for Love, and The Girl of the Lake