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"Jesse Michaels' debut novel is a unique and side-splitting performance, punctuated by a whip smart narrative and magnetic prose. A dizzying combination of Flann O'Brien's The Third Policeman and Kurt Vonnegut, if he were a hostile agoraphobic, Whispering Bodies is an unreasonably funny work. It's Mitch Hedberg, it's Franz Kafka, it's none of the above. A post-everything romp of delicious absurdity." —Alex Green, Caught in the Carousel
"Jesse Michaels' Whispering Bodies is the first book I couldn't put down in a long time. In Roy Belkin. Michaels' has given us one of the most memorable protagonists in recent fiction—shades of a 21st Century Ignatius J. Reilly—but ultimately wholly original as he stumbles his misanthropic yet, at times, oddly hopeful way through the world. A great book." - Rob Roberge, author of The Cost of Living
"How this guy, this guy who comes out of nowhere, this 'Michaels,' could turn something out like this — I'm speechless. Absolutely shitting right now. It's like there is finally a book." —Albert Deasely, Enchantment
"A perverse, inventive, and unremittingly funny debut novel that ingeniously marries John Kennedy Toole to Raymond Chandler." —Patrick deWitt, Ablutions and The Sisters Brothers
Posted October 20, 2013
Whispering Bodies is a mystery, but if you're not a mystery reader, don't let that stop you from reading this novel: it's not your typical whodunit. Michaels has written a hilarious novel about loss, the damages we all sustain, love, spirituality (with its distortions and discontents), and general human craziness, in an often satirical and sometimes tender voice. Some of the scenes and characters are absurd, but you'll recognize them. The language of the novel is rich and musical with new names for things and made-up sounds. I wasn't surprised to learn that Michaels is also a musician and an artist.
And if you are a mystery reader, you'll have fun with the plot and the delicious parody of the genre.