Written by Patrick DeWitt
Publication Date April 21, 2012
From the author of the award-winning The Sisters Brothers comes a dark, boozy, and hilarious tale from the LA underworld.
A nameless barman tends a decaying bar in Hollywood and takes notes for a book about his clientele. Initially, he is morbidly amused by watching the regulars roll in and fall into their nightly oblivion, pitying them and their loneliness. In hopes of uncovering their secrets and motives, he establishes tentative friendships with them. He also knocks back pills indiscriminately and treats himself to gallons of Jameson's. But as his tenure at the bar continues, he begins to lose himself, trapped by addiction and indecision. When his wife leaves him, he embarks on a series of squalidly random sexual encounters and a downward spiral of self-damage and irrational violence. To cleanse himself and save his soul, he attempts to escape . . .
Patrick deWitt was born on Vancouver Island in 1975. He is the author of two critically acclaimed novels: Ablutions and The Sisters Brothers, which won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and the Stephen Leacock Medal, and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Scotiabank Giller Prize. He lives in Portland, Oregon.
"[Patrick deWitt] has an ear for cadence and an eye for detail ... Ablutions doesn't glorify alcoholism, but nor does it present a moral, skilfully dodging the traps it sets itself." Guardian
"... Ablutions is a seedy, boozy haiku. Reed thin, yet razor-sharp and as muscular as can be. This earliest deWitt is brilliant." January Magazine
"Dark, booze-ridden and utterly fascinating." The Sun Times