Like Louis Wain's cat paintings, each stop of Hill's trilogy raises the bar of psychedelic intrigue...Hill is among the finest and most unconventional humorists writing today.
Come to the eastern plains of Colorado and savor this tasty concoction of memorable characters, fantastic events, and keen insights into the human condition. This trilogy captures the fearless imagination of Gregory Hill in full, colorful bloom.
Before Narwhal Slotterfield, the mortals of “Strattford” myth had to reckon with a culturally-erosive, all-encroaching Future. In “Zebra Skin Shirt,” Narwhal suffers every atomized moment of the Right-Fucking-Now. It’s a cosmic ordeal, Greg Hill’s third excellent novel in a row, and a trip well worth taking.
A basketball referee with the Pynchonesque name of Narwal Slotterfield orders a hamburger at a diner in eastern Colorado and time stops across the universe. What happens after that becomes a funhouse-mirror holograph of a novel produced by Slotterfield's cornered brain as it tries to understand this new world. Time hasn’t stopped, he learns, it has just slowed down, slow enough to allow Gregory Hill’s wild story to unfold in completely unexpected ways.
Part mystery, part Steven Wright stand-up routine, part Einsteinian thought experiment, what do you call Zebra Skin Shirt? Sly-Fi? Off-off-off-beat? Magical Surrealism? Whatever it is, three cheers for the unforgettable former amateur basketball referee, Narwhal W. Slotterfield, and his creator, the wildly imaginative Gregory Hill.
Zebra Skin Shirt rocks. One. Of. A. Kind.
A brilliantly-executed, fascinating, and relentlessly hilarious immersion
Hill is a dialogue artist, sculpting his characters with depth and the pitfalls of humanity...The Lonesome Trials of Johnny Riles is a rich and complex western that crosses over into the shady depths of noir fiction. It’s a stunning read.
Like Hill’s superb debut, East of Denver, The Lonesome Trials of Johnny Riles surely is a damn fine, if distinctly peculiar, country noir.--Booklist
A wild, weird, fun ride.
Crazy novel. And I mean that in the very best sense. Absolutely loved it.
Impressively well written from beginning to end, The Lonesome Trials of Johnny Riles is a terrifically entertaining read and showcases extraordinary and imaginative storytelling abilities.
Filled with the same easy energy and bright style that earned praise and awards for East of Denver, The Lonesome Trials of Johnny Riles will take you to places you didn't know existed--both on the hard plains of eastern Colorado and deep inside the soul of an unforgettable man who knows the world is a mean place. He knows the perfect song and the perfect drink to get him through the day, but even Johnny Riles can't predict what the world, or his brother, might throw his way. After a sip or two of this richly-told novel, you'll want to glug the whole thing down.
The Lonesome Trials of Johnny Riles renders Eastern Colorado/High Plains life as it really has always been: down-to-earth, matter-of-fact, and always on the brink of psychedelia. This is an unapologetic triumph of contemporary Rural American Realism.
Reading Gregory Hill’s marvelous page-turner of a second novel is like hunkering down in a psychedelic cave, buried by a flatland Colorado blizzard—with a knife at your throat. Expertly wrought weirdness abounds—you won’t want it to end. Think, a poodle with no name meets Stephen King.
East of Denver is a slow burn, but by the end it’s burning hot: you’ll leave this book a little charred. . . This is writing on a par with that of top-flight black-comic novelists like Sam Lipsyte and Jess Walter, and it deserves to be read.
All the characters are quirky if not downright bizarre and you never really know how things are going to play out. A witty, snarky, and thoroughly enjoyable read.
East of Denver is painstakingly funny — the novel offers a deep, dark look into the real life issues that make society uncomfortable.
What makes [East of Denver] special, and especially powerful, is that Hill, like his damaged characters, has a real talent for fucking everything up.
Gregory Hill...displays a keen, at times riveting, understanding of the absurdities and freedoms of small-town isolation and the dying way of life that was once the American standard.
There is pathos. Sadness. Dark glimmers of hope. The entire book reveals this balance and shift and makes it absolutely worthwhile to pick up. Hill has a bright future.
[An] agreeable, offbeat debut novel...A story about a father and son who bond against the odds, with an ending as quirkily satisfying as the rest of the book.
There’s no fantasy escapism here. It’s real life. And real life is darkly comic.
Cleverly plotted and well-written. This is a must read!
East of Denver is crazy. It’s offbeat and hilarious, but there is a tenderness that moves the reader in the midst of all the antics.
Le roman est court, plutôt bien écrit.
Even the dead cat can't rest in peace.
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