The Contortionist's Handbook

Front Cover
Harper Perennial, 2006 - False personation - 199 pages
12 Reviews
A stunning novel about a brilliant young forger who continually reinvents himself to escape the authorities, described by Chuck Palahniuk, bestselling author of FIGHT CLUB, as 'the best book I have read in easily five years. Easily. Maybe ten years.' Following a near fatal overdose of painkillers, Daniel Fletcher is resuscitated in a Los Angeles emergency room and detained for psychiatric evaluation. Through a series of questions and tests, the psychiatrist must ascertain whether the patient intended to kill himself, or whether he can walk free. What the psychiatrist doesn't know is that 'Daniel Fletcher' is actually John - Johnny - Dolan Vincent, a brilliant young forger who continually changes his identity to save himself from a lifetime of incarceration. Johnny has done such assessments before - many, many times. As he creates an elaborate bluff for the evaluator, Johnny reveals the true story of his traumatic past - a broken family, descent into the sinister world of forgers and criminals, and his one chance of salvation in the beautiful and elusive Molly. But time is running out; as his underworld clients lose patience and the psychiatrist's net closes around him, Johnny has to negotiate the escape act of his life. Evoking the boulevards and strip bars of 1980s LA with cinematic intensity, The Contortionist's Handbook is a darkly hypnotic and stunningly original debut.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jselliott - LibraryThing

I read a recommendation for this from a website based on a search for postmodern crime fiction, specifically the notion of the fractured self. The protagonist (and narrator) in this novel is written ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - branimal - LibraryThing

When I was first recommended this book, I had no idea what to expect. For whatever reason, I was mainly going by the cover art and relying on that to tell me what this book was mainly about. A ... Read full review

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About the author (2006)

Craig Clevenger was born in Dallas, Texas and raised in Southern California, where he studied English at California State University, Long Beach. He has travelled extensively and lived in Dublin and London. He now lives in California where he is at work on his second novel, Dermaphoria.

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