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Big Machine

by Victor LaValle


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Ricky Rice is a middle-aged hustler with a lingering junk habit, a bum knee, and a haunted mind. The sole survivor of a suicide cult, he spends his days scraping by as a porter at a bus depot in Utica, New York. Until one day a letter arrives, reminding him of a vow he once made and summoning him to Vermont's remote Northeast Kingdom to fulfill it.

There, Ricky is inducted into a band of paranormal investigators comprised of former addicts and petty criminals, all of whom have at some point in their wasted lives heard the Voice: a murmur on the wind, a disembodied shout, a whisper in an empty room. All these may or may not have been messages from God. Their mission is to find the Voice -- and figure out what it wants.

Big Machine takes us from Ricky's childhood in a matrilineal cult housed in a New York City tenement to his near-death experience in the basement of an Iowa house owned by a man named Murder. And to his final confrontation with an army of true believers -- and with his own past.

Infused with the wonder of a disquieting dream and laced with Victor LaValle's fiendish comic sensibility, Big Machine is a mind-rattling mystery about doubt, faith, and the monsters we carry within us.

Big Machine named:

•American Book Award 2010

•Shirley Jackson Award 2009 - Winner - Best Novel

•10 Best Books of 2009 -- Publisher's Weekly

•Favorite Fiction of 2009 -- Chicago Tribune

•Best Science Fiction of 2009 -- Los Angeles Times

•Best Science Fiction & Fantasy -- Washington Post

•Most Valuable Fiction Book of 2009 -- The Nation

•Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence 2010 Winner

Publication Details

Oldcastle Books
No Exit Press
Publication Date:


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Victor LaValle (Author)

Victor LaValle is the author of the short story collection Slapboxing with Jesus and two novels, The Ecstatic and Slapboxing with Jesus. He has been the recipient of numerous awards including a Whiting Writers' Award, a United States Artists Ford ...

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Big Machine
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