On June 3rd, 2013, Chicago-based author Brandon S. Graham wrote in his blog: “I’m Brandon S. Graham and over the past two and a half years I have written 80 posts for this blog, the premise of which was to document my process of writing a novel, my agent search, finding an agent, and the theoretical eventual publication of my first novel, Good for Nothing. The blog has also been a record of the mind games I’ve played in order to cope with (and avoid) the emotional ups and downs of the long spans of painful waiting. In some ways, all of that time and effort was channeled toward this post; because I can formally declare I HAVE A PUBLISHER, with a novel to follow in eight months or so (now would be an appropriate time to listen to a hallelujah chorus by clicking here).”
And at Pontas we are glad to confirm that Good for Nothing has been acquired by Karl Sabbagh at Skyscraper Books in the UK. Karl, previously at Hesperus Press, was the first English language acquiring editor for The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. London-based, independent publisher with a curatorial prerogative skewed toward high quality writing that is not necessarily main stream, couldn’t be a more perfect fit.
Meanwhile, Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler´s Wife, says: “Brandon Graham is a very funny, painfully observant, no-holds-barred American writer. In Good for Nothing he shows us America now: out of work, out of shape, slightly suicidal but retaining a sharp sense of the absurd. This is a brilliant book. When times are really horrible it’s good to be able to laugh (especially at ourselves).”
Good For Nothing follows the episodic escapades of Flip Mellis, an unemployed, newly obese and suicidal family man, who is reaching the apex of a middle-age tantrum. Exacerbated by plentiful personal flaws, including a self-fulfilling fatalism, and coinciding with a national economic crisis, Flip’s good intentions are tainted by his poor life skills and questionable rationalizations. The result of which is a darkly humorous social satire that explores men’s attitudes toward work, love, family, women, sex, and consumer culture. Tone, approachable language, pace, and absurd juxtapositions drive the story. Below the surface, an earnest exploration of the American male, his strengths and shortcomings, his inflated self-concept and his ignorant, self-hating abusiveness gives weight to the playfully circuitous and subversive story arc. The question is: are Flip’s best efforts enough to lead him to personal redemption and grace or will they merely lead to a futile, purely graceless and quixotic death spasm.
Translation and film rights available: Patricia Sánchez – firstname.lastname@example.org