Destroy All Monsters: The Last Rock Novel (Farrar Straus and Giroux)
"At some point, I began to think of it as an ancient folk tale. It's fine work, with a kind of scattered narrative set within a tight frame. Fast-moving throughout--fragile characters who suggest a bleak inner world made in their own collective image." --Don DeLillo
An epidemic of violence is sweeping the country: musicians are being murdered onstage in the middle of their sets by members of their audience. Are these random copycat killings, or is something more sinister at work? Has music itself become corrupted in a culture where everything is available, everybody is a "creative," and attention spans have dwindled to nothing? With its cast of ambitious bands, yearning fans, and enigmatic killers, Destroy All Monsters tells a haunted and romantic story of overdue endings and unlikely beginnings that will resonate with anybody who's ever loved rock and roll.
Like a classic vinyl single, Destroy All Monsters has two sides, which can be read in either order. At the heart of Side A, "My Dark Ages," is Xenie, a young woman who is repulsed by the violence of the epidemic but who still finds herself drawn deeper into the mystery. Side B, "Kill City," follows an alternate history, featuring familiar characters in surprising roles, and burrows deeper into the methods and motivations of the murderers.
Praise for Destroy All Monsters
“Destroy All Monsters is an inventive and powerful book, one of the best (if not the best) rock ’n roll novels I have ever read.”—David Gutowski of Largehearted Boy (on Twitter)
"Destroy All Monsters has a distinct pulse—a kind of heartbeat—that comes out of the rhythm of the prose, the inventiveness of the form, and the willingness of Jeff Jackson to engage the mysterious alchemy of violence, performance, and authenticity. This accomplished, uncanny novel is simultaneously seductive and unsettling." —Dana Spiotta, author of Innocents and Others and Eat the Document
"Delightful in its use of playful forms—including, appropriately, an A and B side—this taut, atmospheric rock-and-roll thriller touches a raw nerve with its subject matter, an epidemic of mass shootings. Add the artist’s struggle authentic power and the carrot of fame—Destroy All Monsters is rock enough for anyone." —Janet Fitch, author of The Revolution of Marina M. and Paint it Black
"Jeff Jackson is one of contemporary American fiction’s most sterling and gifted new masters. With Destroy All Monsters, he has raised the high bar his work already set with Mira Corpora . . . It’s a novel that impresses on many levels, with its beautifully hypnagogic, catastrophic story and writing that is a wonder to behold." —Dennis Cooper, author of The Marbled Swarm and God Jr.
"Jeff Jackson’s new novel surges with new-century anxiety and paranoia as it documents a fraught new state of vulnerability in which maybe everything is coming to an end. In other words, it’s a clear-eyed, stone-cold vision of what’s to come." —Ben Marcus, author of Leaving the Sea and The Flame Alphabet
Jeff Jackson is the author of Mira Corpora, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His short fiction has appeared in Guernica, Vice, and The Collagist, and five of his plays have been produced by the Obie Award–winning Collapsable Giraffe theater company in New York City.
Photo by Lydia Bittner-Baird