Sway

A Novel
By Zachary Lazar (Trade Paperback, 2009)
Three dramatic and emblematic stories intertwine in Zachary Lazar's extraordinary new novel, SWAY--the early days of the Rolling Stones, including the romantic triangle of Brian Jones, Anita Pallenberg, and Keith Richards; the life of avant-garde filmmaker Kenneth Anger; and the community of Charles Manson and his followers. Lazar illuminates an hour in American history when rapture found its roots in idolatrous figures and led to unprovoked and inexplicable violence. Connecting all the stories in this novel is Bobby Beausoleil, a beautiful California boy who appeared in an Anger film and eventually joined the Manson "family." With great artistry, Lazar weaves scenes from these real lives together into a true but heightened reality, making superstars human, giving demons reality, and restoring mythic events to the scale of daily life.

"One hypnotic tone poem.... It is not the now-historic acts of violence that make Sway so riveting, but its vivid character portraits and decadent, muzzy atmosphere, all rendered with the heightened sensory awareness associated with drugs and paranoia. The near miniaturist precision with which he describes Keith Richards's attempts to master his guitar, Brian Jones's acid trips and Anger's obsessive desire for Beausoleil bring this large-scale tableau into stunning relief." --Liz Brown, Time Out New York
  • Little, Brown and Company
    • Format: Trade Paperback

    • Price: $13.99 US/$15.50 CAN

    • ISBN-13: 9780316113113

    • On Sale Date: 02/10/2009

    • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

    Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Electronic Book

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Three dramatic and emblematic stories intertwine in Zachary Lazar's extraordinary new novel, SWAY--the early days of the Rolling Stones, including the romantic triangle of Brian Jones, Anita Pallenberg, and Keith Richards; the life of avant-garde filmmaker Kenneth Anger; and the community of Charles Manson and his followers. Lazar illuminates an hour in American history when rapture found its roots in idolatrous figures and led to unprovoked and inexplicable violence. Connecting all the stories in this novel is Bobby Beausoleil, a beautiful California boy who appeared in an Anger film and eventually joined the Manson "family." With great artistry, Lazar weaves scenes from these real lives together into a true but heightened reality, making superstars human, giving demons reality, and restoring mythic events to the scale of daily life.

"One hypnotic tone poem.... It is not the now-historic acts of violence that make Sway so riveting, but its vivid character portraits and decadent, muzzy atmosphere, all rendered with the heightened sensory awareness associated with drugs and paranoia. The near miniaturist precision with which he describes Keith Richards's attempts to master his guitar, Brian Jones's acid trips and Anger's obsessive desire for Beausoleil bring this large-scale tableau into stunning relief." --Liz Brown, Time Out New York

Zachary Lazar graduated from Brown University, has been a Fellow at The Provincetown Fine Arts Works Center, and received the Iowa Writer's Workshop's James Michener/Copernicus Society Prize. His first novel, "Aaron Approximately," was published in 1998.
  • "Joseph Conrad said that fiction is primarily a visual art; he would have loved Zachary Lazar's Sway for the thousand indelible visual details of a startling originality--and for Lazar's ability to shine a light into the contemporary heart of darkness."

  • "Sway is a gripping and masterful novel about the Manson murders, the early years of the Rolling Stones, Kenneth Anger, and the dark heart of the 1960s."

  • "Zachary Lazar's superb second novel, Sway, reads like your parents' nightmare idea of what would happen to you if you fell under the spell of rock 'n' roll...Elegant and intricate...this brilliant novel is about what's to be found in the shadows, the most terrifying crannies of twisted souls, the darkest gleaming gems." (New York Times Book Review).

  • "One hypnotic tone poem.... It is not the now-historic acts of violence that make Sway so riveting, but its vivid character portraits and decadent, muzzy atmosphere, all rendered with the heightened sensory awareness associated with drugs and paranoia. The near miniaturist precision with which he describes Keith Richards's attempts to master his guitar, Brian Jones's acid trips and Anger's obsessive desire for Beausoleil bring this large-scale tableau into stunning relief." (Time Out New York).

  • "Lazar has created a powerful, infernal prism through which to view the potent, still-rippling contradictions of the late '60s. It's no mean feat. Despite the era's nearly impossible richness, fresh insights are hard to come by." (Los Angeles Times Book Review).

  • "Deft and persuasive...One succumbs to this richly imagined, hauntingly vivid novel, wherein everyone falls under the way of someone or something." (San Francisco Chronicle).

  • (Publishers Weekly).

  • (Library Journal).

Formats

Product Details

Sway
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Price: $13.99 US/$15.50 CAN
  • Pages: 272
  • Physical Dimensions: 5-1/2" x 8-1/4"
  • Audio Run Time: 0
  • ISBN-13: 9780316113113
  • On Sale Date: 02/10/2009
Sway

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Sway