PURCHASE A SIGNED LIMITED EDITION HARDCOVER HERE:
“Sizzling, a brilliant work of imagination…unflinching in its depiction of our culture and political moment…with the relevance and pace of Kerouac’s On the Road and the psychological brutality of Golding’s Lord of the Flies.”
~Michelle Yasmine Valladares, MFA Program Director at The City College of New York, author of Nortada, The North Wind, and the AMERICAS Poetry Festival’s Poet of the Year.
“A perfect time in our country for the return of the anti-hero. So many young men begin an odyssey into adulthood only to find that the past, usually in the form of a father, is both the catalyst forward and the keeper of a locked gate to the future. The goal becomes not salvation but survival. David Puretz’s debut novel alternates between life’s realistic blows and a hallucinatory journey that may be his only route to selfhood.”
~Linsey Abrams, author of Our History in New York, Double Vision, and Charting by the Stars.
“Crisp, clear, and electrically charged, The Escapist is a burst of much needed vitality blowing through the miasma of late capitalism’s nihilism and hypocrisy.”
~Brendan Kiely, New York Times bestselling author of Tradition
“Raising complicated questions about the nature of control, and drawing bold lines between state violence, family trauma, and self abuse, David Puretz has crafted a gut punch of a road novel for anyone who ever wondered what drove Hunter S. Thompson to drugs, and made Jack Kerouac want to leave it all behind for a dotted highway line.”
~Chris L. Terry, author of the novels Black Card and Zero Fade
“Author David Puretz has created a highly literary and poignant work that tells many tales through its single-character narrative… The Escapist is an accomplished work worthy of great praise, both for its excellent writing style and its apt perspective on our current sociopolitical time.“
~Reader’s Favorite 5-star review.
“A close, fascinating view of a wild, self-destructive ride, Billy’s story careens toward a memorable end. The Escapist is a stunning novel about a damaged man.”
It’s 2011 in America, the Iraq War is coming to a close, and the Occupy Wall Street movement has been gaining steam. And at twenty-one years of age, Billy Chute is sitting in the breakdown lane on the side of the highway in his ’98 Altima with his drugs in the cooler on the passenger seat floor, in the midst of escaping yet another stale reality. Still high on an opioid and amphetamine kick, his new escape crystallizes in a journal entry: Find Dad. And those few simple words seal Billy’s fate—what started as another of his impulsive flights becomes a mission, and it terrifies him, for his father is like wildfire, burning all in its path, yet confronting his traumatic past may be Billy’s only sustainable way forward.
A propulsive story with profound insights about freedom and imprisonment, motion and stasis, chance and destiny, The Escapist delves deeply into the internal and external calamities that shape this special human life and mind. Mental health, family conflict and abuse, drug addiction, and sexuality are intricately woven together in a turbulent pre-Trump America in this dynamic and layered narrative of violence and hope.