A bearded man in a badly soiled suit known only as The Stranger wanders an apocalyptic landscape on the fringes of a dying metropolis, looking for a way to "get back on top." Thwarted and rejected at every turn by old friends and strangers alike—even by the author of this novel, whom he visits repeatedly in unsuccessful attempts to determine his own narrative—his impotence and rage are expressed in acts of seemingly senseless violence. The various characters he encounters on his journey—a pack of sadistic boys, skinheads who beat him senseless, a deaf-mute woman who tries to heal him, a sidewalk preacher, and a deranged man who identifies him as The One—avoid or abuse him, or attempt to follow him.
Entertaining, disturbing, and wildly intelligent, written with sinister humor and great compassion, Ether reflects on the possibilities and consequences of forgiveness, the problems of faith, and the trials of creation.
Ben Ehrenreich is an award-winning journalist and fiction writer. Ether is his second novel.
Praise for Ben Ehrenreich's first novel The Suitors:
"Smart and postmodern in a puckish, Calvino-like sense. . . . Ehrenreich writes with an ease and pure line-by-line skill that's rare." —The New York Times Book Review
"Ehrenreich blends Tom Robbins' sly humor with Steve Erickson's bubbling sense of the subconscious and Voltaire's irreverent twists of plot." —Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Ehrenreich shows the stirrings of an original talent." —Publishers Weekly
"Brilliant, and at the same time moving. It's a relief to know that literature exists yet." —Juan Goytisolo
Reviews from Goodreads.com
In his own words, here is Ben Ehrenreich's Book Notes music playlist for his novel, Ether:
1. Gang of Four, "Ether"
This one may seem obvious, but it's not just the title that gets it on the list—it's that screaming bass and the song's furious insistence on... ...more
"A compact work of bi... ...more