Lying Bastard

Clint Margrave (Author)


A darkly comic literary novel, LYING BASTARD is set in Long Beach, CA, and is narrated by adjunct English professor Berlin Saunders, who, as the book opens, is playing dead on the classroom floor after a school shooting. The story revolves around a father-son relationship between liberal professor, Saunders, and his conservative student, Adam Rowan, a returning Iraq veteran, who tries to recruit Saunders into a quixotic plot to steal the Liberty Bell. But when an act of betrayal disrupts their plans, Saunders is left to wonder who has betrayed whom? And could that betrayal be the motivation behind the violent situation in which the professor currently finds himself?
LYING BASTARD is a story about one man on the brink, searching for authenticity in an education system that exploits both teacher and student, in a country that exploits both civilian and soldier. Along the way, the reader is introduced to a colorful cast of characters, such as the sweaty, brown-nosing tenure-track job-seeking Tom Corona, the villainous chair of the English Department and self-published author, Harry Crawford, and the narrator's best friend, a former adjunct-turned-rock star, Will De Freitas. LYING BASTARD is a story for and about contemporary America, a story that addresses the themes of school shootings, guns, truth vs. fiction, and a failing education system.

Product Details

$29.95  $26.96
Runamok Books
Publish Date
May 01, 2020
5.51 X 0.75 X 8.5 inches | 1.04 pounds
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About the Author

Clint Margrave is the author of two poetry collections, Salute the Wreckage (2016) and The Early Death of Men (2012), both published by NYQ Books. He lives in Los Angeles, CA.


"A life of quiet desperation examined with well-crafted cynicism, insight, and humor. This clever exploration of existential angst manifests in a character who epitomizes the axiom that those who can do and those who can't teach. Margrave asks the question, 'Can one get by faking a purpose in life, and the corollary--is the idea of purpose in life fake?'"

-- Manhattan Book Review

"Clint Margrave's novel LYING BASTARD is an insightful, wickedly funny and devastatingly-on-target satire of the plight of the adjunct professor in America today. In the black sardonic manner of Céline and Bukowski, Margrave manages to brilliantly satirize the contemporary American college system with its desperate adjunct professors and absurd hypocritical commercialization of literature, while also commenting on the broader malaise of contemporary barely- getting-by working class America in general."

-- Fred Voss, author of Robots Have No Bones

"In an age when the creative imagination has been colonized by shallow fantasy epics that never seem to end, in an age when artists are afraid to tell (or even think) the truth, it's such a relief to encounter a first novel with as much spirit and intensity and raw authenticity as Lying Bastard. This is muscular writing informed and built upon actual lived experience. The squeamish and the sensitive need not apply. The shades of Knut Hamsun and John Fante and Hubert Selby Jr. haunt these pages. You have been warned."

-- Robert Guffey, author of Chameleo and Until the Last Dog Dies

"A darkly humorous novel following a defeated adjunct professor as he contemplates the bleak mundanity of his life, his fellow travellers and even the prospect of his death. Sardonic but not cynical, jaded and yet tender, Berlin Saunders is a touching but uncomfortable observer of the state of being human."

-- Helen Pluckrose, editor of Areo Magazine