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Following such episodes he invariably wakes up in a county hospital compelled to undergo psychiatric evaluation.

Book #3: The Contortionist's Handbook - Craig Clevenger : thebookclub

At this point, things get interesting. Maybe not so difficult to see why Palahniuk liked the novel — that plot snippet, and things that follow, sound a lot like something he might have written. Or, at least, like something heavily influenced by him. That film was at the end of a run of movies that helped mold Brad Pitt from pretty boy to actor. Will this be the movie that changes things? Published on Aug 18, SlideShare Explore Search You.

Tied up in knots

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The Contortionist "Language (Rediscovered)"

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Publisher Description

Some critics habitually bestow it on the sort of book that they may find interesting, but feel will best be appreciated by cooler, hipper and more rebellious souls than themselves and their peers. If one book is certainly destined for at least cult status, it's Texan writer Craig Clevenger's excellent debut novel, The Contortionist's Handbook.

The creative team who filmed the memorable Donnie Darko quickly snapped up the film rights to a work that is just gagging for a big screen adaptation. The novel has a great deal going for it.


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Craig Clevenger comes up with an interesting and perfectly realised concept, featuring an engaging anti-hero whose story is told with the gutsy sass of an Elmore Leonard thriller, shot through with an elegant literary sensibility. While this constitutes a potent enough blend, The Contortionist's Handbook also has in play that wondrous alchemy that is the real beauty of the winning novel. What this generally comes down to is the writer's ability to order their material and tell the story effectively.

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Craig Clevenger reigns supreme here: the book is a stylistic triumph, showing his strong eye for informative detail, but never letting that interfere with the pacy narrative. The novel has substance too; its biting critique of American psychiatric and criminal justice systems often evokes a modern One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. The hero of this seldom less than gripping tale is John Dolan Vincent, a highly gifted forger who suffers from life-threatening migraines and black-outs.