From Holden Caulfield to Moses Herzog, our best literature has been narrated by malcontents. To this lineage add Peter Jernigan, who views the world with ferocious intelligence, grim rapture, and a chainsaw wit that he turns, with disastrous consequences, on his wife, his teenaged son, his dangerously vulnerable mistress—and, not least of all, on himself. This novel is a bravura performance: a funny, scary, mesmerizing study of a man walking off the edge with his eyes wide open—wisecracking all the way.
About the Author
David Gates writes about books and music for Newsweek. He lives in New York City and in a small town upstate.
What People are Saying About This
"Mr. Gates has created one of recent literature's most memorable anti-heroes, and...established himself as a novelist of the very first order." —The New York Times
"A brilliant novel. Full of dark truths and biting humor, Jernigan will be read for a long time." —Frederick Exley
"[Has a] jumpy, boozy, post-modern ironic belligerence.... This is a profoundly sorrowful book, one that lingers, unbidden, in the heart." —The New York Times Book Review
"In the best tradition of tragic literature, Jernigan is cathartic and stimulating.... High moral art." —The Seattle Times
"A sizzler of a novel." —Joseph Heller
"Brilliantly handled.... At once harrowing and hilarious, an artful chronicling of one man's free-fall into an exhilarating, devouring nihilism." —San Francisco Chronicle
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I'm interested in the theme of alcoholism as it affects families. But this was just an interminable slog.