×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Keyhole Factory: A Novel
     

Keyhole Factory: A Novel

by William Gillespie
 

See All Formats & Editions


Set in an alternate present that is a slightly, if dangerously, skewed version of our own, Keyhole Factory tracks the interwoven destinies of disparate characters up to and beyond the end of the world-as-we-know-it, brought on by a global super-virus. Beginning with a biting satire of an academic poetry conference, the novel moves on to encompass the

Overview


Set in an alternate present that is a slightly, if dangerously, skewed version of our own, Keyhole Factory tracks the interwoven destinies of disparate characters up to and beyond the end of the world-as-we-know-it, brought on by a global super-virus. Beginning with a biting satire of an academic poetry conference, the novel moves on to encompass the stories of a poet-astronaut, a microbiologist contemplating an exit strategy from her high-level job designing biological weapons, a sports-car-driving killer who stages the aesthetic murders of utopian commune-dwellers, and a lone pirate radio disc jockey who may be the last person left alive broadcasting her story to nobody. Allowing form and content to shape each other, William Gillespie pries open the confusion in a moment of total crisis through a narrative web-work technique derived from deranged fiction pioneer Harry Stephen Keeler.

Part imaginative free-for-all and part deeply felt examination of isolation and survival, the individual lives in Keyhole Factory shine through the chaos in all their beauty and tragedy. With his signature wit and originality, Gillespie spins a glittering fever-dream that questions our assumptions about the way we interpret events and our relation to the planet, without ever losing sight of the underlying experience of what it feels like to be a human being in the world we live in today.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
To repurpose T.S. Eliot, this is the way the world ends/ Not with a bang but with an experimental novel about our dénouement. In Gillespie’s imaginative scenario, a manmade plague called Pandora is deliberately unleashed upon an unsuspecting populace. Through the clever use of ever-changing typographical layouts, we live through the spread of the epidemic and are horrified as it quickly devastates mankind, causing a breakdown in law and order and communications. Playing like a biowarfare version of Arthur Schnitzler’s La Ronde, with death substituting for sex, we meet an interconnected cross-section of humanity, including a poet astronaut on his way back to a changed Earth after testing a planet-killing weapon in deep space; a female virologist who works at the secret underground lab where the weaponized virus was created; Seattle newlyweds, possibly “the last couple to get married,” fleeing the clogged city in search of sanctuary; a serial killer who preys upon the various colonies of survivors; and a pirate radio disk jockey who broadcasts her harrowing experiences even though there may no longer be anyone alive to hear them. Gillespie (The Story That Teaches You How to Write It) has a keen satiric mind: the virus is released at an Arms Contractors Ball where men wear missile codpieces and women bullet bras. And although it has become fashionable in recent years for literary authors to take on the apocalypse, you would have to go back to Denis Johnson’s Fiskadoro to find such a purely poetic take on the unthinkable. Agent: Gary Heidt, Signature Literary Agency. (Nov. 13)
From the Publisher

Praise for Keyhole Factory

"Gillespie has a keen satiric mind…And although it has become fashionable in recent years for literary authors to take on the apocalypse, you would have to go back to Denis Johnson's Fiskadoro to find such a purely poetic take on the unthinkable."—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

“...frequently brilliant. Those willing to grapple with its complexities are rewarded with a remarkable work of fiction.” —AMERICAN READER

“It’s useful to point out here that much literary experiment is essential playful, fun. And Gillespie’s novel, despite being about disease and the the near total destruction of mankind, has a (ever so deliciously macabre) hopeful side.” —NUMÉRO CINQ

“…This is an experimental novel—chunks of poetry interrupt the traditional chapters, graphics appear throughout, and a middle section is horizontal—but the pleasure of the text is fine and true…” —LIBRARY JOURNAL

“…one of the most inventive and absorbing books I've read in the last year…” —INSIDE HIGHER ED

"…a violent, apocalyptic story told with an arsenal of narrative tropes.” —BOOKLIST

“…stupendous, mind-bending…” —AMERICAN BOOK REVIEW

“…by turns bewildering and gorgeous, maddening and profound…” —SMILE POLITELY

“…stunning…” —THE NERVOUS BREAKDOWN: NOBBIE AWARDS

“The author’s foray into the inconceivable digs far beneath the trusty surface of cause and effect. He parlays his scientific familiarity to create maddening illustrations showing all we know is consistently less than what we don’t.” —BOOK CORNER

Praise for William Gillespie

“William Gillespie...is one of the wittiest and most original writers in contemporary American literature.” –Robert Coover

“...his vastly superior linguistic skills, mathematical mind, intelligence and curiosity combine with his energy...to produce writing of a unique richness and playfulness.”—Lucia Cordell Getsi

“Gillespie works in a contemporary tradition whose foremost practitioners are members of the Oulipo, the Paris-based group of writers and mathematicians founded in 1960 by Raymond Queneau and François Le Lionnais. Gillespie’s poetry can seem as feverishly wrought as some works of Ian Monk and at other times as stylishly refined as some works of Harry Mathews.” — Doug Nufer, American Book Review

“...a writer who has clearly learned his chops well.” —Eckhard Gerdes, Context

“[Gillespie’s] language here is far from restrained—it is disciplined, wily, animated, resourceful, in turn nonsensical and musical, but supremely vital, dazzling to confront ("read" is not quite the verb), sculpted lines smeary with fingerprints, stunned by the audacity of their own construction.”—Joseph Dewey, Review of Contemporary Fiction

“His imagination is sharp, raucous, random, and contrarian.”—Lance Olsen, American Book Review

“I think the world is finally ready for William Gillespie.”–Philip Graham

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781593764463
Publisher:
Soft Skull Press, Inc.
Publication date:
11/06/2012
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
1,333,259
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

Related Subjects

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews