In a famous but declining Hollywood bar, there works a barman. Morbidly amused by the decadent decay of his surroundings, he establishes tentative friendships with variously pathological regulars, all the while making notes for his novel. But as his tenure at the bar continues, he begins to serve himself more often than his customers. His damaged life begins to unravel completely. He loses his wife, his way, himself.Trapped by his habits and his loneliness, he hatches a terrible plan of escape, his only chance for redemption.
Patrick deWitt’s stunning debut novel has been compared to the work of Charles Bukowski, Denis Johnson, and Hunter S.Thompson. It is funny and horrifying and beautiful and honest. It is a “marvel” (L.A.Weekly), the kind of book whose “dirty realism”makes Gary Shteyngart “want to roll in the mud with” the author.