Originally from Brooklyn, New York, author, poet, playwright, and performer, John Biscello, has lived in the high-desert grunge-wonderland of Taos, New Mexico since 2001. He is the author of two novels, Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale and Raking the Dust, a collection of stories, Freeze Tag, and a children’s book, Once Upon a Time: Classic Fables Reimagined. Broken Land was named Underground Book Reviews 2014 Book of the Year.
NOCTURNE VARIATIONS (Release Date: November 31st)
In this rogue’s tale, full of sound, fury, and surrealism, we meet Alex Fillameno, a writer who has traded in the machine-grind of New York for a bare-bones existence in the high desert town of Taos, New Mexico. Recently divorced and jobless, Fillameno has become a regular at The End of the Road, the bar where he first encounters the alluring and enigmatic D.J., a singer and musician. Drawn to her mutable sense of reality, the two begin a romance that starts off relatively normal. When D.J. initiates Alex into the realm of sexual transfiguration, however, their lives turn inside-out, and what follows is an anti-hero’s journey into a nesting doll world of masks and fragments, multiples and parallels, time-locks and trauma; a world in which reality is celluloid and what you see is never what you get.
A spectral, existential noir set against the aging irons of Coney Island and old guard lions of hip hop and silent film, Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale tracks the singular odyssey of would-be sleuth and soon-to-be wordsmith, Salvatore Massimo Lunezzi. Prompted by an enigmatic phone call from a writer-friend claiming to be dead, Lunezzi launches an investigation that leads him to Ghostwriters, Inc., a company selling inspiration to struggling writers through the medium of “ghosting.” From Buster Keaton to Arthur Rimbaud, a boozy and brilliant dwarf to an enchanting femme fatale, Lunezzi is drawn deeper and deeper into the soul of story where fiction and reality inevitably converge.
It wasn’t a bad neighborhood, just coarse and ingrown, with too many nerves wired to the same frequency. Comprised of five stories and a novella, Freeze Tag takes you inside the heart of Bensonhurst, the “Little Italy” of Brooklyn. A boy teaching himself how to “disappear” as his family collapses around him; a group’s last desperate hurrah at a dive strip club; a comic book artist returning home to grieve his lost childhood love; a middle-aged woman using baby-talk to seduce her daughter’s boyfriend-these and other storylines mix concrete grit with magic realism in rendering an essential portrait of The Old Neighborhood.
More of Biscello’s work can be found on his blog