On the top floor of a small hospital, an unlikely piano prodigy lies in a coma, attended to by his gruff, helpless father. Outside the clinic, a motley vigil assembles beneath a reluctant New Mexico winter—strangers in search of answers, a brush with the mystical, or just an escape. To some the boy is a novelty, to others a religion. Just beyond this ragtag circle roams a disconsolate wolf on his nightly rounds, protecting and threatening, learning too much. And above them all, a would-be angel sits captive in a holding cell of the afterlife, finishing the work he began on earth, writing the songs that could free him. This unlikely assortment—a small-town mayor, a vengeful guitarist, all the unseen desert lives—unites to weave a persistently hopeful story of improbable communion.
Upon the release of John Brandon’s last novel, Citrus County, the New York Times declared that he “joins the ranks of writers like Denis Johnson, Joy Williams, Mary Robison and Tom Drury.” Now, with A Million Heavens, Brandon brings his deadpan humor and hard-won empathy to a new realm of gritty surrealism—a surprising and exciting turn from one of the best young novelists of our time.
About John Brandon
John Brandon was raised on the Gulf Coast of Florida. His favorite recreational activity is watching college football. This is his third novel.
Heads in the Clouds Amid a Cloudless Landscape
The New York Times Book Review – July 17, 2012 (Excerpt)
John Brandon’s novels are choral compositions in the voice of marginal Americans. In them he marshals the thoughts and stories of small-time crooks, troubled adolescents and low-wage workers with higher aspirations, alternating perspectives in the key of hard luck.
His previous novels, “Arkansas” and “Citrus County,” were each told through the eyes of several characters. His latest, “A Million Heavens,” is even more populous, and each brief section comes with a header announcing its point of view: “Reggie,” “Soren’s Father,” “The Wolf.”
Yes, the wolf. In an echo of Cormac McCarthy’s novel “The Crossing,” Mr. Brandon casts the animal in a featured role, tracking its thoughts in the same intimate way of everyone else in the book.
“A Million Heavens” opens with the wolf, and Mr. Brandon manages, for a while, to generate an understated power from the conceit: “The wolf understood that he had stopped short in some sort of courtyard and he understood that these humans had sneaked up on him, or he had snuck up on them without meaning to, which was the same.” [Read the full article...]
THE BLEEDING HILLS
A Novel by Wilfried F. Voss
I have fought a good fight,
I have finished my course,
I have kept the faith.
- 2 Timothy iv. 7
The Irish War is officially a part of history, but not for Finnean Whelan, an IRA veteran of almost 40 years. British Intelligence has produced evidence that he is the mastermind behind a conspiracy to assassinate the First Minister of Northern Ireland. For Whelan this is not only a mission of revenge, but marks the beginning of a journey into the past and the return to the one true love: Ireland. [More...]
The Bleeding Hills is available at Amazon.Com, Amazon.co.uk, Barnes & Noble, and any other good bookstore.