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By Jaime Clarke

Fiction. Charlie Martens is determined for balance in an in a different way peripatetic existence. An explosion that killed his mom and dad while he was once younger robbed him of normalcy and he used to be shuttled from relative to relative, left by myself to decipher the realm he encountered as a way to cobble jointly a solution as to how he might dwell. Ever the outcast, Charlie acknowledges in Olivia, a world pupil from London, the experience of otherness he feels and their dating turns out to vow salvation. but if Olivia abandons him, his determined brain fixates on her favourite author, Vernon Downs, who turns into a symbol for reunion with Olivia. Charlie's quest takes him from Phoenix to long island urban and while probability brings him into proximity to Vernon Downs, he speedy ingratiates himself into Downs's international. Proximity invitations sure temptations, even though, and it isn't lengthy ahead of Charlie strikes dangerously from fandom to apprentice to outright possession.

"VERNON DOWNS is a gripping, hypnotically written and unnerving examine the darkish facet of literary adulation. Jaime Clarke's tautly suspenseful novel is a cautionary story for writers and readers alike—after completing it, you'll begin to imagine that J.D. Salinger had the fitting suggestion after all."—Tom Perrotta

"Moving and edgy in precisely the ideal approach. Love (or loss of) and family members (or loss of) is on the center of this splendidly obsessive novel."—Gary Shteyngart

"All robust literature stems from obsession. VERNON DOWNS belongs to a practice that incorporates Nicholson Baker's U and that i, Geoff Dyer's Out of Sheer Rage, and—for that matter—Pale fireplace. What makes Clarke's first-class novel stand out isn't simply its rueful intelligence, or its playful semi-veiling of convinced infamous literary figures, yet its startling disappointment. VERNON DOWNS is first rate."—Matthew Specktor

"Jaime Clarke's VERNON DOWNS is a superb meditation on obsession, artwork, and megastar. Charlie Marten's mounting fixation with the titular Vernon is not just pushed by way of the burn of heartbreak and the entice of popularity, but in addition a misplaced younger man's fight to find his position on this planet. VERNON DOWNS is an intoxicating novel, and Clarke is a blinding literary talent."—Laura van den Berg

"An engrossing novel approximately longing and impersonation, that is to claim, a narrative in regards to the distance among folks, distances inside of ourselves. Clarke's prose is infused with track and intelligence and deep feeling."—Charles Yu

"VERNON DOWNS is an engaging and sly tribute to a undeniable interesting and sly author, yet this novel additionally completely captures the lonely distortions of a real obsession."—Dana Spiotta

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He is the paradigm of the aspiring novelist who for whatever reason is deprived of a model and a mentor, and has to make it up himself. Cervantes's strangely modern career as a novelist is evident in the differences between the two volumes of his novel, which were published some ten years apart. In volume i, Quixote, inversely mirroring the career of his creator, perhaps, has his head turned by reading too many romances of chivalry, and at an WHO IS A N O V E L I S T ? j 9 advanced age, leaves his impoverished estate and his sedentary pursuits to go out into the world to protect the virtuous and preserve the unfortunate.

I had not then read any real novels. I had heard it said that George Sand was a typical novelist. That had prepared me in advance to imagine that François le Champi contained something inexpressibly delicious. -MARCEL PROUST, Swann's Way A novel has an author. The desire to write a novel is the single / \ required prerequisite for writing a novel. It is the only thing / \that overcomes all the handicaps—perfectionism, low selfesteem, depression, alcoholism, diseases of all kinds, immense riches, economic hardship, deadly enemies, the resistance of relatives and friends, laziness, retarded professional development, the regular responsibilities of adulthood, even imprisonment (Sir Thomas Malory, for example, wrote the romance/protonovel Le Morte d'Arthur while imprisoned during the Wars of the Roses).

He or she cannnot be understood at all apart from this. I once asked a woman mathematician whether it was true that math talent went with the Y chromosome, a tendency to allergies, lack of social skills, and left-handedness. She told me that she didn't think so, but that the large population of left-handed male mathematicians with allergies felt most comfortable with their own sort because they had no social skills, so it was a self-selecting profession. Novelists are selfselecting in a similar way.

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