The Last Days of Video
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The video stores are dying. But most of you don't care. You've got your Netflix and your Redbox and your DVR, so why deal with VHS tapes or scratched DVDs? Why deal with the grumpy guy at the worn-down independent video store? Well that grumpy guy is Waring Wax, and he's usually too drunk to worry about his declining business at Star Video, let alone his quickly evolving extinction in popular culture. But everything changes in his small college town when a bright and shiny Blockbuster Video opens nearby: Clearly, this means war. So, Waring enlists the help of his two reluctant employees, wildly sexy Alaura and desperate virgin Jeff-who are almost as nuts as he is-to hatch a series of wild schemes to save their little store and fight against the corporate invaders. Together, these three misfits try to save Star Video while confronting, among other things, Waring's self-destructive tendencies, a life training cult, corporate bicycle gangs, and a Hollywood director who constantly sees the ghost of Alfred Hitchcock while in town shooting his latest film. The Last Days of Video is a hilarious elegy for a bygone era, a quirky and charming story of redemption for a group of Review "This is a wonderful book! I laughed at least once a page. And the characters are so fresh and sad and eager. This book should be put in a time capsule. The Last Days of Video is like the literary missing link, about a time when things were really real." -Daniel Wallace, author of Big Fish and The Kings and Queens of Roam "The Last Days of Video is, as the title suggests, an elegy for an era, but it's an era that's going out with a lot of kicking and screaming. Funny, raucous, and deliciously irreverent, Jeremy Hawkins' debut novel offers up an engaging cast of characters who bicker and lust and love their way through the roller coaster ride of Star Video's final days. This generous, big-hearted novel is a joy to read." -Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk "This is the Lucky Jim of video store novels. A comic page-turner-often really funny-with an originality and tenderness not often seen in first novels." -Clyde Edgerton, author of Killer Diller "This hilarious novel manages to love, dissect, and make fun of our culture all at once. Jeremy Hawkins' particular genius is in understanding that people are never more sympathetic than when they aren't getting what they want. This whole book is saturated in loss, and yet I laughed through every page." -Rebecca Lee, author of Bobcat and Other Stories About the Author Jeremy Hawkins earned an MFA in Fiction from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. He is the founder and lead editor of The Distillery (distilleryediting.com), a web-based editing service. He is also an independent bookseller at Flyleaf Books and teaches creative writing at the Carrboro ArtsCenter. And of course, he worked for almost ten years at VisArt Video, a family-owned chain of video stores in Chapel Hill/Durham, NC.