THE BOOK: Raking the Dust
PUBLISHED IN: April 2018
THE AUTHOR: John Biscello
THE EDITOR: Sophia Noulas
THE PUBLISHER: Unsolicited Press
SUMMARY: In this rogue’s tale, full of sound, fury, and surrealism, we meet Alex Fillameno, a writer who has traded in the machine-grind of New York for a bare bones existence in the high desert town of Taos, New Mexico. Recently divorced and jobless, Fillameno has become a regular at The End of the Road, the bar where he first encounters the alluring and enigmatic D.J., a singer and musician. Drawn to her mutable sense of reality, the two begin a romance that starts off relatively normal. When D.J. initiates Alex into the realm of sexual transfiguration, however, their lives turn inside-out, and what follows is an anti-hero’s journey into a nesting doll world of masks and fragments, multiples and parallels, time-locks and trauma; a world in which reality is celluloid and what you see is never what you get.
THE BACK STORY: Raking the Dust found a new home and a second lease on life through Unsolicited Press, an indie publisher out of Portland. After my previous publisher went belly-up, RTD was “homeless,” and adrift in limbo, and when Unsolicited accepted my new novel Nocturne Variations for publication, they also agreed to republish my previous two novels: Raking the Dust and Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale.
WHY THIS TITLE: Imagine the sense of frustration and futility born of attempting to rake dust. This novel is flavored with that sense, in relation to addiction, obsession, and the high-desert blues.
WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: It gives a personal and idiosyncratic sneak-peek into the high-desert grunge wonderland that is Taos, New Mexico, as experienced by a Brooklyn boy and urban transplant.
“Raking the Dust is a deeply felt and yet understated paen to the deepest human aches, hopes, and longings; a testament to second chances. It is a grand, shameless, and nonetheless subtle exposition of the human spirit, of addiction, obsession, and ultimately, salvation. Of the fact that “all roads lead to Heaven”, and that sometimes you need to get lost in order to get found. That sometimes things need to get crazy, (pubic) hairy, and utterly confused so that we can come face to face with what we most fear. That ultimately it is in the grip of our own terror that we find the courage to say the brave No that is a Yes to our own Innocence.” Ashleigh Grycner, Riot Material
“Blending existential realism with sensual fantasy, Alex’s mythical journey at once explores the drudgery of the hero’s daily travail while weaving in and out of peculiar realities, which upon intimate inspection, no longer seem peculiar …. A lurid adventure ensues where the mutable inner world plays hide-and-seek in an effort to match its outer twin. In a fascinating turn of events the mirror rotates and a piñata of revelations breaks open. The author’s penchant for fusing the bizarre with the mundane succeeds in architecting an atmosphere that echoes nostalgia and penetrates the moment with an exceedingly focused, time-lapsing inquiry. Amidst all the struggles, the noise, the sex, the partying and the drinking is a gem of a soul that seeks to break through to reveal its timeless, epic quality, which we all seek, and which glimmers in the gaps, when time stands still and love is allowed to shine through.” Ewa Zwonarz, author of Moonchild
“And the award for Best Indie Read So Far goes to…..Raking the Dust by John Biscello. I was totally blown away. In fact, I was so impressed, that I actually resent the fact that this hasn’t been picked up by a bigger publishing house.” Book-Tastings
AUTHOR PROFILE: Originally from Brooklyn, NY, writer, poet, spoken word performer, and playwright, John Biscello, has called Taos, New Mexico home since 2001. He is the author of three novels: Broken Land, Raking the Dust, and Nocturne Variations, and a poetry collection, Arclight. His fiction and poetry has appeared in: Art Times, nthposition, The Wanderlust Review, Ophelia Street, Caper, Polyphony, Dilate, Militant Roger, Chokecherries, Farmhouse, BENT, The 555 Collective, Instigator, Brass Sopaipilla, The Iconoclast, Adobe Walls, Kansas City Voices, and the Tishman Review. Broken Land, A Brooklyn Tale was named Underground Book Reviews 2014 Book of the Year. Visit his website at: johnbiscello.com.
SAMPLE CHAPTER: (Provide link): https://johnbiscello.com/2018/03/28/meeting-d-j/
LOCAL OUTLETS: http://www.unsolicitedpress.com/store/p159/RTD.html