Stacey Levine

  • Lowboy

    Will Heller is a sixteen-year-old paranoid schizophrenic experiencing a mental break. During the course of a day, Will, nicknamed Lowboy, moves through the underground sprawl of Manhattan’s subways, occasionally surfacing. As he likewise dips into and out of psychosis, he reasons, through the screaming overload of his thoughts, that losing his virginity will “cool the world,” saving it from the destruction of climate change, for “the world’s inside of me . . . just like I am inside the world.” Through the logic of his crushing illness, Will is trying to save himself.

    Lowboy, John Wray’s third

  • Josh Barkan’s satiric first novel, Blind Speed, concerns Paul, the rather unethi­cal drummer for a failed rock band who is stuck between protracted adolescence and overdue adulthood. What might seem a clichéd coming-of-age story becomes, in Barkan’s hands, a bildungsroman with a twist, for Paul, thirty-five years old and foundering, hardly resembles the prototypical blossoming young man.

    Paul receives a palm reading from the arrogant, persuasive leader of a New Age–style retreat named Buffalo Man, who, in putting “his ear directly against the palm” of Paul’s hand, “nearly crushing him in pain,”