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Graveyard of the Gods: A Novel (Paperback)

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Description


Although the extra cash helps keep him solvent, hog farmer Gene Barnes isn’t proud of his role in disposing of the occasional body for an old Marine buddy mixed up with who knows what. Gene definitely doesn’t want to know and has been warned not to ask. That is, until he recognizes one of the bodies he’s about to feed to the hogs. Now he’s got plenty of questions and none of ’em have good answers. When Gene sets off to find the truth, he travels a landscape of loss: loss of family, loss of the American small town, and loss of his own moral compass. From his farm in Carmi, Illinois, to Metropolis, the home of Superman, he travels through a Graveyard of the Gods only to discover revenge, and redemption comes at a high price.

In his debut novel, poet, playwright, and River Styx editor Richard Newman tells a humdinger of a tale that begins in the cornfields along the silty banks of the Wabash River and brushes with ghosts of his family’s past, the nursing home where his deranged mother lives, Ohio River pirates near Cave-in-Rock, and the destruction of the small-town American and the Midwestern family farm through corporate greed before a final showdown in Garden of the Gods park of the Shawnee National Forest.

About the Author


Richard Newman is the author of the poetry collections All the Wasted Beauty of the World (Able Muse Press, 2014), Domestic Fugues (Steel Toe Books, 2009), and Borrowed Towns (Word Press, 2005). His poems, stories, and essays have appeared in Best American Poetry, Boulevard, Crab Orchard Review, Midwestern Gothic, New Letters, StoryQuarterlyThe Sun, and many other periodicals and anthologies, and have been featured several times on Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac, Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry, Poetry Daily, and Verse Daily. His poem “Bellefontaine Cemetery” won First Place in The Ledge 2010 Poetry Awards Competition. His plays have been performed in San Diego’s North Park Playwright Festival and the Spectrum festival in St. Louis. A recipient of a 2014 Regional Arts Commission Artist Fellowship, Newman teaches at Washington University, and for the last twenty years has served as editor of River Styx, and co-director of the River Styx Reading Series.

Praise For…


"Richard Newman’s Graveyard of the Gods is an atmospheric modern version of a classic noir, with aprotagonist drawn into investigating a crime and uncovering a far larger story. Newman creates a compelling narrative with memorable characters, legitimate mystery, and kinetic action sequences. The novel is short and lean, building a full world without ever losing the story’s momentum..."

- Jeff Fleischer, Foreword Reviews 

"Graveyard of the Gods is reminiscent of Chinatown by way of Get Carter, a fast-moving thriller that also deals intelligently with the complicated notions of family loyalty, small-town greed and Christian swingers conventions. I loved every word of it."

- Scott Phillips, author of Ice Harvest and Rake

"In the Graveyard of the Gods, loyalty serves as a rough substitute for love, and memory is as overwhelming as the humid, depopulated Southern Illinois landscape. Newman's writing is blunt, absorbing, and damned unforgettable."

- Laura Benedict, author of The Abandoned Heart

"Make room on the bookshelf for another great literary noir novel--Graveyard of the Gods should fit in nicely with the works of Donald Ray Pollock, Frank Bill, and Lynn Kostoff.  I couldn’t put this novel down, though I did shove my pulled pork sandwich away from the table. Richard Newman has written a beautifully-written whodunit."

- George Singleton, author of Calloustown 

In Graveyard of the Gods, Richard Newman surveys the faded promise of the American Dream from the interstices of its rent fabric. Newman, an unsparing, unsentimental narrative poet, spreads out in this first novel, interrupting Midwestern tableaux of slow decay with abrupt violence. In the process, he directly confronts the very physicality of human beings, a fact that can both disgust and humor, and his novel is most assured when those qualities conflate. Luckily for the reader, there are many such moments. With shadings of Hammett’s code-driven heroes and O’Connor’s grotesque ones, protagonist Gene Barnes fights to keep not only his family’s but also his region’s memories alive—to say nothing of himself. By the time you get to the last page of Graveyard, you’ll hope you haven’t seen the last of him.

- John Ryan, author of A Bullet Apiece

- - publisher
Product Details
ISBN: 9781943075201
ISBN-10: 1943075204
Publisher: Blank Slate Press
Publication Date: September 20th, 2016
Pages: 210
Language: English