Clandestine chemistry and the LA underworld provide the atmosphere for this kaleidoscopic tale of lost memories and the heartbreak of finding them, from the author of ‘The Contortionist’s Handbook’.
When Eric Ashworth wakes in jail, he has no idea how he got there, or why. His only memory is a woman’s name: Desiree.
Released on bail and holed up in a low-rent motel, Eric starts to piece together his former life as a chemist at the centre of a desert drug ring with the help of a powerful new hallucinogen which simultaneously loosens his grip on the present. As the events of his past begin to emerge from the confusion of his fragmented memory, Eric must contend with a gnawing paranoia and the need for ever-increasing fixes – not to mention disturbing visits from an intimidating police detective, his former associate Manhattan White and the ominously named Toe Tag. As his grip on reality becomes more tenuous, past and present, reality and fantasy begin to bleed into each other, bringing this visceral, shifting novel of love and loss to its climax.
Reviews of Dermaphoria
- ‘What makes this worth reading is Craig Clevenger’s extraordinary prose: the pleasure of text is everything.’ Guardian
- ‘What makes the book so unique, so compulsively readable, is Clevenger’s ability to make complex images seem so unforced.’ Independent on Sunday
- ‘A brilliant satire.’ Sainsbury’s Magazine
- ‘It’s dizzying stuff…no wonder Chuck Palahniuk is singing his praises on the back cover.’ Metro
- Praise for ‘The Contortionist’s Handbook’:
- ‘A dazzling and highly original debut novel which instantly establishes its author as one of the most interesting writers to emerge in years. This book deserves to be massive and I think it will be.’ Irvine Welsh
- ‘Craig Clevenger has crafted an unforgettable antihero in John Dolan Vincent. This is an extraordinary debut.’ Richard Kelly, director of ‘Donnie Darko’
- ‘What sticks out about this remarkable debut are its pitch-perfect shock ending and John Vincent himself – his complex, conflicting mind, original voice and unnervingly self-defeating existence.’ Time Out