Jerry Stahl is the author of the narcotic memoir Permanent Midnight and Perv--a Love Story, both Los Angeles Times bestsellers, as well as the acclaimed novels Pain Killers, Plainclothes Naked, and I, Fatty. He has written extensively for film and television.
Wanton violence. Crushing drug addiction. Sexual abuse. It's the world according to Stahl, back with a third tale of whacked-out people in a whacked-out world (after Perv A Love Story and a memoir, Permanent Midnight). The story plays out around the search for a photograph of George W. Bush having kinky sex with the mayor of a small town outside Pittsburgh. The photo was once in the possession of Tony Zank, a local crackhead who is desperately trying to get it back. Along with his partner, a wanted shovel-murderer named McCardle, Zank leaves a path of freakish, carnal destruction, eventually attracting the attention of Manny Rubert, a police detective with a serious codeine addiction. Rubert has his own reason for wanting the photo. He's the mayor's ex-husband and is curious how and why she did for President Bush what she'd never do for him. Several other misfits including a comically inept police chief and an alluring young woman who once force-fed her husband Drano and crushed glass inhabit the outer edges of the careening, overdeveloped plot. Stahl's talent for supplying a cast of mean yet oddly moving characters is evident, as is his talent for creating tactile, unsettling images. Knife wounds open up "like a wet pair of lips." Bedridden yet still-amorous old ladies whip back the sheets, "revealing seven decades of thigh." It comes all at once the comedy, the tragedy and, always, the vulgarity. The challenge is keeping the object of the mayhem in focus. Stahl's formula can be brutally compelling, but he uses it here to less striking effect. Agent, Sterling Lord. (Nov. 6) Forecast: Stahl an actor as well as a writer has a devoted cult following, including a host of high-profile blurbers, from James Ellroy to Benicio del Toro to Anthony Bourdain. His latest should handily pull in the regulars. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
"...the new king of black humor....Plainclothes Naked [is] a
hallucinogenic potboiler."--The New York Post
"[A] pleasantly demented police procedural for the Tarantino set."--Kirkus
"[Stahl's] brilliantly demented riffs beg to be read--or screamed--aloud."--Entertainment Weekly
"[Stahl] goes for the reader's funny bone via the jugular vein....fast-paced and truly comical."--Phoenix New Times
"Bare-ass hilarious....A wonderfully sick comic masterpiece of the hard-boiled genre."--Paper Magazine
"Brutally compelling..."--Publishers Weekly
"Gripping and powerful."--Mirabella
"Jerry Stahl is the American hipster bard."--James Ellroy, author of L.A. Confidential and My Dark Places
"Jerry Stahl's writing will flip you--flip you for real."--Benicio Del Toro
"Plainclothes Naked is a page-turner."--MAXIM magazine
"Raw and devilishly raunchy."--Vanity Fair