A review of


by Jack Pendarvis

Central question: Is being awesome really as awesome as it sounds?
Format: 205 pp., cloth; Size: 9" x 5"; Price: $18.00; Publisher: MacAdam/Cage; Novel’s protagonist’s preferred headwear: derby; Author’s home town: Bayou La Batre, Alabama; Author recently served a residency at: Ole Miss; Title of author’s forthcoming detective novel: Shut Up, Ugly; Working title of novel: The Admirable Derby; Author’s hero: Jerry Lewis; Books author enjoyed when he was twelve: Deathlok and The Metal Men; Representative sentence: “The downside was that a freak-out by a person of my strengths and abilities could result in the desolation of the great cities of the earth.”

Jack Pendarvis’s first novel resembles one of those epics in which the mighty warrior undertakes a series of episodic challenges and overcomes a number of obstacles in order to woo back his beloved or to return home or whatever. Our hero with a thousand faces, in this case, is a giant named Awesome. Apart from his size and strength, Awesome likes to think of himself as just another average joe like you or me. “Deep down I am just a regular guy,” he reminds us. Despite the fact that he can lift automobiles, build robots, and compose oratorios, he humbly admits that he’s “at ease with the lingo of the common folk, explaining complex truths in a down-to-earth slang accessible to all.” Out of the generosity of his enormous heart, he has dedicated his life to doing good deeds and helping others—but not everyone fully appreciates his kindness.

We hope you enjoy this excerpt.

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—Andrew Ervin

Andrew Ervin lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He’s writing a novel.

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