Fiction Flashback: Ablutions

Start your week of with some older titles that deserve a second look


by Patrick DeWitt

This isn’t the first time I’ve written about Patrick DeWitt, and it won’t be the last.  This is his first published novel, and it’s brilliant.   As an added bonus, it’s in 2nd Person POV, something I’ve also written about before and it’s one of the rare examples of where it’s done well


What’s it about?

From the author of the award-winning The Sisters Brothers comes a dark, boozy, and hilarious tale from the LA underworld.

A nameless barman tends a decaying bar in Hollywood and takes notes for a book about his clientele. Initially, he is morbidly amused by watching the regulars roll in and fall into their nightly oblivion, pitying them and their loneliness. In hopes of uncovering their secrets and motives, he establishes tentative friendships with them. He also knocks back pills indiscriminately and treats himself to gallons of Jameson’s. But as his tenure at the bar continues, he begins to lose himself, trapped by addiction and indecision. When his wife leaves him, he embarks on a series of squalidly random sexual encounters and a downward spiral of self-damage and irrational violence. To cleanse himself and save his soul, he attempts to escape . . .

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