A Prayer for Dawn

Nathan Singer, Author
Nathan Singer, Author . Bleak House $16.95 (213p) ISBN 978-1-932557-04-6
Reviewed on: 05/23/2005
Release date: 07/01/2004
Open Ebook - 294 pages - 978-1-4405-3219-1
Paperback - 218 pages - 978-1-4405-5386-8
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Outrage with mainstream American culture fuels this crackling, darkly comic debut. Set largely in Cincinnati, Ohio, this "thrash novel" critiques and satirizes contemporary culture as it jumpily follows a motley crew of characters existing on society's fringes, where the sins of the mainstream are most powerfully felt. Members of the vivid cast include Caroline Powell, a world-weary publicist reduced to representing the likes of Joey Spitfire, the jailed creator of an underground zine called Psychobilly Freakout! ; Jeff Mican, an artist whose works are so disturbing they induce vomiting; D'antre Philips, aka Daddy Molotov, multiple felon and author of a YA book called Princess Africa Jones ; and Dalton Brackage, a gay, opium-smoking runaway who plans to help a group of American Indians blow up a national monument. At the novel's center is eight-year-old Dawn Mican, Jeff's daughter, who watches with a child's wide eyes the adult chaos around her. With a keenly developed sense of disillusionment and a real talent for capturing the vernacular, Singer leads readers on a raging, rollicking ride through the underbelly of American society, expressing not only genuine frustration with the immorality of the dominant culture, but also lamenting the absence of easy answers. As Dawn says, "It's really hard to know what's right. What if nothing is?" (July)

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