From the author of the award-winning The Sisters Brothers comes a dark, boozy, and hilarious tale from the LA underworld.
A nameless barman tends a decaying bar in Hollywood and takes notes for a book about his clientele. Initially, he is morbidly amused by watching the regulars roll in and fall into their nightly oblivion, pitying them and their loneliness. In hopes of uncovering their secrets and motives, he establishes tentative friendships with them. He also knocks back pills indiscriminately and treats himself to gallons of Jameson's. But as his tenure at the bar continues, he begins to lose himself, trapped by addiction and indecision. When his wife leaves him, he embarks on a series of squalidly random sexual encounters and a downward spiral of self-damage and irrational violence. To cleanse himself and save his soul, he attempts to escape . . .
Alligator is full of visual detail, abrupt cuts, and startling juxtapositions. Moore switches effortlessly from topic to topic, scene to scene, past to present, and one perspective to another, as one might switch channels on a television. Fittingly, the novel achieves just what Madeleine proposes her documentaries offer: an unexpected story, a strong message, at least one belly laugh.
... a remarkable, heartfelt story ...
...reads like the literary version of some artfully arranged visual collage.
Lisa Moore is an astonishing writer. She brings to her pages what we are always seeking in fiction and only find in the best of it: a magnetizing gift for revealing how the earth feels, looks, tastes, smells, and an unswerving instinct for what's important in life.
...superb... While the number of seemingly disparate plots is initially confusing, paths cross in unexpected, satisfying ways.
...compelling and rewarding...surprisingly emotional, rich with human feeling and insight. Moore has a keen ear for both dialogue and a well-turned phrase, and the writing is suffused with a reckless joy...