|About the Book|
”What’s this all about, then?”Such is the first line spoken between Ryun Horn and Chris Baker--The Author and The Narrator of a book entitled LAST EXIT BEFORE TOLL, a book that will eventually become SWERVE. They are, in essence, the same person.More”What’s this all about, then?”Such is the first line spoken between Ryun Horn and Chris Baker--The Author and The Narrator of a book entitled LAST EXIT BEFORE TOLL, a book that will eventually become SWERVE. They are, in essence, the same person. They have come together at a median in Time, a position outside of time in fact, from which each of them--The Author, existing in The Present, and The Narrator, creating a swath through the past--are able to communicate at varied intervals. The Narrator (Chris) explains to The Author (Ryun) that it is his intention to kill himself once this selfsame novel arrives at completion. His wish is to transmit his life story to The Author, in literary form, that it may be recorded for posterity.Chris Baker, via the first-person idiom, trudges laconically through the details of his early childhood. He then goes on to discuss his adulthood in more decorative lyrics. Meanwhile, The Author has a few things to say from the vantage point of his laptop computer regarding climate change, strange politics, the contemporary state of the world, and the struggles he encounters whilst attempting to be true to the details of that life which is both his own and The Narrator’s. And Chris delves voraciously into the universe of drugs, both illegal and otherwise, all the while maintaining his addiction to literature. He encounters myriad characters, some of whom are profound, some comic, and all fascinating. It is upon his graduation from high school, following a few laggardly attempts at working-life and college, that he realizes his primary designs to travel America.The Narrator and The Author continue to converse at interludes throughout the narrative. Together, they discuss the nature of Time and Space and what allowances in those seemingly fixed entities permit them to confabulate in such a way. The Author contemporaneously tries to convince The Narrator that his approaching suicide is a fool’s errand. They argue about past events and their reckoning. They commit silly jokes to the nowhere. They frustrate one another like conflicting thoughts inside an individual brain.Chris Baker travels to California, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New York, et al. He makes friends and he loses them. He struggles with drug addiction. He rages and screams and guffaws to keep alive his own flint of inspiration. He also finds himself ending up continuously in his hometown where he falls in love, creates a minor poet’s fame, and fritters to cast a meaning for himself.Throughout these escapes and escapades, The Author remains convinced that the creation of LAST EXIT BEFORE TOLL will be their deliverance.“What’s this all about, then?” The Author asks in summation.No one answers.