Tyler Knox, Author . Morrow $23.95 (356p) ISBN 978-0-06-114333-5

Kafka's "Metamorphosis" is turned on its antennae in this roaringly entertaining noir novel. Knox's debut begins with a cockroach waking up to find he has been transformed into a man. Kockroach, however, doesn't lapse into despair, but instead demonstrates the relentless survival instinct of his species by learning how to get by in the human world. Helping him is pint-size Times Square hustler Mickey "Mite" Pimelia, who sees in Kockroach (or, as he's known to humans, Jerry Blatta) his ticket to the top. Sex, organized crime, violence, betrayal and success follow for Kockroach, whose insect's sense of amorality aids his ascent. Meanwhile, Celia, a crippled but beautiful woman, befriends Mite and finds herself drawn to Kockroach. Knox's inhuman antihero's tale is told in flawless noir style—Kockroach's coldness juxtaposed against Mite's bitter self-recrimination in a seedy, smoky 1950s New York—and Kockroach's insights into that New York are perversely delightful. The book's conceptual cleverness is ultimately eclipsed by the epic story line, making for a compelling story of greed and power that is more Chandler than Kafka. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 10/09/2006
Release date: 01/01/2007
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 356 pages - 978-0-06-114334-2
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 384 pages - 978-0-06-158056-7
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-06-158053-6
Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-06-158058-1
Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-06-187166-5
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