a mystery’s no problem

Lou Rowan AMNP cover mediuma novel, by Lou Rowan

ISBN 978-0-9931955-3-2. Paperback. 160pp. Publication date: May 2016. Equus Press: London. Price: € 15.00 (not including postage).

Order direct from Equus Press (paperback only); or via Amazon UK / US.

Like a piano-player striving to make music in a whorehouse,  Lou seeks earnestly, desperately to fathom rollicking episodes of crime and corruption on both coasts of the imploding American Empire.

A sports-loving western city is ruled by competing megachurches that deal drugs and corrupt young cheerleaders; high-end apartments erected by the Mafia kingpin ruling New Jersey  crack like the House of Usher and create a tidal wave in a New Jersey swamp ; a socially-prominent professor of psychology wants to obliterate his plucky young ex-lover with an SUV;  a WASP socialite-detective contends with a black woman who may be right that her family wants her dead; frustrated wives of aging billionaires molest a talented gay executive in limos and the Temple of Dendur.

We meet the elites; we meet the Mafia’s Jackhammer, his vengeful wife, the Toilet, and Pustule Pete;  we meet Mayor Daley, Governor Uomo, Rudolph Guissilini, and Elliott Spitter–and we meet earnest, intelligent souls like Lou and his friend the retired gay catcher of the New York Mets contending with these mysteries. Could love be the answer to all the problems?

A Mystery’s no Problem is the kind of book that film critics repurposed the adjective “delirious” for. Starting off with the hucksterist “My Pledge to You”, it then proceeds to gleefully confound expectations, starting off with a candid slice of literary autobiography spanning New York City and the Pacific North West, then veering into a roller-coaster ride populated by gangsters, politicians and drug-dealers. Very funny. Erm, a little like post-Trump America? Not so funny?” (Ken Edwards)

“In a serio-comic riposte to Gabriel Marcel’s wisdom that ‘…mystery is something in which I am myself involved…where the distinction between what is in me and what is before me loses its meaning…’ Lou Rowan gifts us with a novel of the self, knowing itself better and better as it enlarges the mystery of imagined life. Rowan’s prose is an introspective roller coaster, that dips and careens around the facts and follies of contemporary American social and political realities, all for the excitement of the mind that must find its meaning where it fears the truth most. Funny, satirical, perverse, always on the move, emotionally and intellectually, A Mystery’s No Problem, is a novel that solves the question of what it means to be alive now.” (Alan Singer)

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“I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we are reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for?…we need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us” // Franz Kafka, letter to Oskar Pollack, 27 January 1904
May 2022
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