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Descripción de editorial
"Jeanne Thornton's incredibly surprising and awkward novel falls into an improbable space that feels like the terrible school of Robert Walser's Jakob Von Gunten and also the acid-laced wooded setting of Angela Carter's novella Love. Yet Thornton's Dr. Bantam is pure Americana, cinematic and idly mean. It's lush and trashy. I guess it's the most graphic-novelly feeling book about loss I can think of. It's all punk heart, messily thudding." —Eileen Myles
"Jeanne Thornton has a novel coming out this year that you will read and love. It is called The Dream of Dr. Bantam. Google this title every day until it pops up in your face for sale, like a toaster pastry in a commercial where the children have gel in their hair." —Miracle Jones
Jeanne Thornton’s debut novel is a love story unlike any other, featuring Julie Thatch, a tough-as-nails, chainsmoking, wise-cracking 17-year-old Texan. Her idol, her older sister, jogs headlong into the lights of an approaching car, and dies. And Julie falls in love with a girl who both is and isn’t an echo of her older sister, a long-limbed Francophone named Patrice—who is also a devotee of the Institute of Temporal Illusions, a Church of Scientology-like cult.
In Julie Thatch you cannot help but see shades of Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander. Jeanne’s former writing teacher at the University of Texas, Alexander Parsons (author of Leaving Disneyland and In the Shadows of the Sun) writes: “The Dream of Doctor Bantam is one of those books you read every few years in which, page by page, you come to think of the characters as a part of your own dear, weird, and intransigent family. In Julie Thatch, Thornton has written a character as memorable and compelling as Holden Caufield or Oedipa Maas. She is alternately hilarious, maddening, and enchanting, a fearful and fearless smartass who enlivens every page of this fine novel.”
With illustrations by the author.
In this offbeat, emotionally raw debut, FictionCircus.com co-founder Thornton explores the tribulations of romance and rebellion, and the coming-of-age of 17-year-old Julie Thatch. Still reeling from her older sister's suicide, Julie meets and falls for Patrice, a mercurial, fragile, oddly-innocent young woman striving to move up in the ranks of the Institute of Temporal Illusions, a cult led by the titular Dr. Bantam. Their relationship is a volatile, co-dependent, unstable thing, made worse by Patrice's damaged psyche and Julie's cynicism regarding the cult and life in general. The latter's half-hearted quest for personal growth clashes with Patrice's increasing instability and obsession with becoming "Unbound," or free from the concept of time, and both careen toward a moment of crisis. The lack of quotation marks gives the text a muted, distant feel, an effect abetted by Julie and Patrice's underlying feelings of alienation and disaffection. But Thornton's hypnotically intense writing style makes the story simultaneously attractive and repulsive, though consistently powerful.