ISBN 978-1-912616-12-1 | Short Fiction | B Format (UK), Paperback, 68pp
Sam, a brooding and reactionary academic, feels left behind by politics and culture in the internet age. As he travels through the New England woods to meet a dying relative, he starts composing an essay on popular horror.Pursued by guilt and lured by nostalgia, he hopes to write his way to vindication in the face of real and imagined enemies. But the mind is treacherous, and the culture wars are all-encompassing, and the woods are full of traps…
Jacob Rollinson’s sharp and hilarious debut novella draws on classic Stephen King and popular horror fiction. Interwoven with scrappy drafts of academic thought, the story of Sam’s short stay at the ultra-religious and borderline eerie Sassenach family home rapidly tailspins into ruminations on identity politics and flights of grotesque fantasy. How will Sam redeem himself in the eyes of his activist cousin? Can he hide a coke comedown from his unsuspecting relatives? Will he ever manage to finish his essay on Stephen King…?
‘A taut surprise of a book that lures the reader, with wit and playful form, into the woods of the contemporary psyche. By turns spiky and sincere, Rollinson is an utterly original writer, and unafraid to plunge into our thorny cultural moment – in bravura style.’ — Henrietta Rose-Innes, author of Green Lion and Nineveh
‘Rollinson packs more into this novella than many books ten times its length. A darkly comic masterpiece that captures the fragmentation of modern America, told in a voice that assures you from the first page that you are in the hands of a rare talent.’ — Paul Cooper, author of River of Ink and Our Broken Idols, creator of Fall of Civilisations Podcast