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Publish Date: January 2008
I Am Death
BY Gary Amdahl
Exploring the paranoia and bravura of the modern American male, these powerful novellas depict a realm marked by faltering blunders, misguided intentions, and the fear of failure. At once comical and terrifying, “I Am Death, or Bartleby the Mobster” charts the slumped career of a muckraking journalist, Jack, who has managed to attract the attention of Frank Fini, one of Chicago’s great mob bosses. Fini wants to hire Jack to ghostwrite his autobiography, A Boy’s First Book of Mobsters, and so begins a journey through hell as Jack attempts to restore his career, revive his ex-wife’s interest in him, and stay one step ahead of Fini and the mob.
“Peasants,” alternately satirical and tender, takes as its setting the modern corporate office, in this case a publisher of guides for users of geographic information systems. Walter Rasmussen has developed a few successful books and his future looks bright. But as a special project begins to falter and he finds his position in jeopardy, he begins to suspect his colleagues of sabotaging his career.
As he did with Visigoth, Amdahl demonstrates that he is our most adept and honest guide into the psyche of the modern American male.