For a long time, I’ve been joking about writing a rock ‘n’ roll mystery set in the world of obsessive Phish fans — until the joke sounded more and more like a good idea.
Now I’m putting the finishing touches on The Ashakiran Tape, first in a series of books set at rock concerts called Head Cases. The Ashakiran Tape is set at the June at the June 2–5, 2009 Phish shows at Jones Beach.
I’ve been in Dakar for a month now, and when I happened to break my eReader, it was finally time to write about it. You can read my essay “Third World Problems” on Medium. Discussed: mosquito nets, courier families, the Dakar Club Med, The Neverending Story, The Sheltering Sky, William Gibson’s The Peripheral, books as shelter, Wolof greetings.
I made a great many discoveries during that first year in America, and one of them was the work of Mark Leyner, which I immediately added to our traveling cross-country library. Unlike many of the books I cherished most, his novels – Et tu, Babe and My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist – had only come out recently, but in their wild play with language and pop cultural references, I saw them coming from a clear tradition of writers storming the heavens, afraid of nothing. They were also unmistakably contemporary, and that gave them an additional edge.
Now, this is good news: Atticus Books, an independent press specializing in genre-busting literary fiction, will publish my novel Kino in the spring of 2012.
Kino is the story of a visionary director’s tragic life and his granddaughter’s quest to redeem him. Frederick Barthelme has called the book “an intoxicating Euro-brew, an exhilarating roadster ride through history and time, a remarkable remix of reality and imagination, written with enormous skill and dedication.”
From the author of the historical thriller Kino, a “fast, complex, exhilarating roadster ride through history and time” (Frederick Barthelme) comes a gripping psychedelic mystery steeped in sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll.
When legendary improvisational rock band Phish returns to the stage after a five-year breakup, longtime fan and hardboiled hippie sleuth Quentin Pfeiffer has to be there — even though he is older, wiser, and the father of an adorable baby daughter now.
But not everything is sunshine and rainbows in the freewheeling circus surrounding the band’s summer tour: after the millionaire skipper of a drug-drenched luxury yacht goes missing, Q and his crew are drawn into a dangerous intrigue of dreadlocked dames, shady tape collectors, and spun-out wookies chasing after the long-lost recording of a mysterious late-night jam.
Inspired by Raymond Chandler and set during a series of concerts at Long Island’s Jones Beach amphitheater, The Ashakiran Tapetakes readers deep into the spiraling ecstasy of Phish’s epic shows and the seductive underworld of the obsessive fans following them.
Praise for Kino:
“Kino is an intoxicating Euro-brew, written with enormous skill and dedication.” – Frederick Barthelme
“A debut of great intellectual force.” – Teddy Wayne
“A delirious melange of conspiracy, magic, sex, history, bad behavior, and cinema, Kino is a stellar entertainment, and Jurgen Fauth is a writer of rare, sinister imagination.” – Owen King