The Dead Run: A Novel

Overview

Adam Mansbach, the acclaimed #1 New York Times bestselling author of Go the F**k to Sleep, delivers an electrifying and horrifying action-adventure

Wrongfully imprisoned in a Mexican jail, outlaw-with-a-conscience Jess Galvan accepts a devil's bargain: transport a sinister package across the border for the jail's mythical—and terrifying—bogeyman El Cucuy. If Jess can survive and deliver the iron box in twenty-four hours, he will be free.

But as...

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The Dead Run: A Novel

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Overview

Adam Mansbach, the acclaimed #1 New York Times bestselling author of Go the F**k to Sleep, delivers an electrifying and horrifying action-adventure

Wrongfully imprisoned in a Mexican jail, outlaw-with-a-conscience Jess Galvan accepts a devil's bargain: transport a sinister package across the border for the jail's mythical—and terrifying—bogeyman El Cucuy. If Jess can survive and deliver the iron box in twenty-four hours, he will be free.

But as Jess navigates the deadly desert, girls go missing and bodies begin to surface—an epidemic of crime that plunges small-town sheriff Bob Nichols into a monstrous investigation. For an ancient evil has awoken in the wastelands and quickly epic myth and human malice threaten the end of the world.

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Editorial Reviews

San Francisco Chronicle
Praise for Adam Mansbach:“Mansbach has a talent for writing full, memorable characters that seem untidy and complex. The prose crackles with insight.”
Boston Globe
“Beautiful, funny, heartbreaking . . .Very few writers could have attempted all this. Adam Mansbach succeeds, brilliantly.”
New York Times Book Review
“Exquisite. Mansbach’s characters are sharply drawn.”
Jeff Chang
“One of the most ambitious, insightful, and daring writers of our generation.”
Jonathan Lethem
“Total genius.”
New Yorker
“Nothing has driven home a certain truth about my generation quite like this.”
Booklist
“Both surreal and grounded in harsh reality, the novel is ambitiously plotted and powerfully written.”
Shelf Awareness
“Irreverent and entertaining. It’s a wild high-speed ride.”
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“Although violent, The Dead Run is first-rate entertainment based on a fascinating cultural mashup.”
Fearnet.com
“One of the best thriller/horror hybrids to come along this year. ... a lean, intoxicating funhouse of a book that is difficult to put down.”
Publishers Weekly
08/12/2013
In this taut and gritty adventure thriller with a supernatural element from Mansbach (best known for the satirical children’s book Go the F**k to Sleep), Jess Galvan, a contraband runner along the Texas-Mexico border with a heart of gold and a daughter he wants to free from his nutcase ex-wife, allows his protective instincts to get the better of him in attempting to save a prostitute from abuse. Galvan winds up in a Mexican prison, where he meets a shamanic figure who straps a box to his back with baling wire. Inside the box is the magically still-beating heart of a virgin. Galvan’s task: deliver this package across the border to a cult leader in Texas. The problem: doing so will end the world—Aztec style—and usher in an era of evil. The initially staccato narrative voice morphs in fits and starts into rollicking goofiness as the action builds to a finale that threatens to overwhelm all willing suspension of disbelief. Agent: Richard Abate, 3 Arts Entertainment. (Oct.)
Jonathan Lathem
"Total genius."
Library Journal
Getting across the border between Mexico and the United States is a tall order, especially for a criminal. For an American named Galvan, it becomes almost an impossibility. Released from a Mexican jail, Galvan is charged by an evil cult with bringing a relic of immense power across the desert and into the United States, where it will imbue the cult's messiah with world-dominating powers. Galvan is more concerned with seeing his daughter Sherry again. Unbeknownst to him, Sherry is also on the cult's radar, and they intend to kidnap her to help fulfill their dark prophecy. Pursuing the cult from the United States are a lawyer and a small-town cop, both of whom are unaware of just how large the stakes are in this confrontation. Mansbach (Rage Is Back) spins an exciting tale, an action thriller heavily infused with paranormal elements like ancient deities and an army of undead virgin sacrifices. The narrative twists among several disparate protagonists and keeps a lot of balls in the air without losing momentum. VERDICT Highly recommended for readers of supernatural action and horror. Also recommended for fans of more general action stories, if they don't roll their eyes at zombies. [See Prepub Alert, 4/1/13; for supernatural-fiction fans who enjoy the undead, see also Megan McArdle's zombie fiction roundup on p. 66.—Ed.]—Peter Petruski, Cumberland Cty. Lib. Syst., Carlisle, PA
Kirkus Reviews
2013-08-15
A badass convict and a jaded Texas sheriff go head-to-head with an ancient Aztec demon in the latest from Mansbach (Rage Is Back, 2013, etc.). The novel is just as screwball and even more propulsive than the author's previous works. Jess Galvan is a smuggler who gets busted on the wrong side of the Tex-Mex border by a federale named Pescador while trying to raise 50 large to pay for a custody lawyer. Rotting away in prison, Galvan is chosen by El Cucuy, the ancient high priest of an evil Aztec order, to carry the magical beating heart of a slain virgin to El Cucuy's son Seth deep in the Montesajo Caverns. The only thing standing between Galvan and his team of fellow convicts is an army of threatening, dead virgins. Yes, this is certifiably some Weird Stuff. Meanwhile, a girl named Sherry Richards has been kidnapped by this cult, and she and a classmate are soon on the run from their murderous pursuers, with a tough Texas lawman named Nichols not far behind. Mansbach's enormous gift for language and a dedicated understanding of the genres involved--noir, horror, thriller and other tropes come into play here--make this wobbly machine work surprisingly well. This could have easily come off like a From Dusk Till Dawn rip-off, but it's far better than readers might be expecting. Galvan talks like Jules Winnfield out of Pulp Fiction, sure, but the plot is as hard-core as an episode of Breaking Bad, and Mansbach's desiccated prose is first-rate. A head-spinning mashup of genres, with a cast that includes bikers, hookers, demons and corrupt cops. It works.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062199669
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/25/2014
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 384

Meet the Author

Adam Mansbach

Adam Mansbach's books include the #1 international bestseller Go the F**k to Sleep and the critically acclaimed novels Rage Is Back, Angry Black White Boy, and The End of the Jews, winner of the California Book Award. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times Book Review, Esquire, The Believer, and Salon.com, and on National Public Radio's All Things Considered.

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