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Brian Smith: Spent Saints

Brian Smith: Spent Saints

The award-winning former Phoenix New Times journalist and Beat Angels frontman visits with his debut collection of linked stories and an accompanying multimedia presentation.

Smith screens eleven micro short films (one minute each) based on each of the stories in the collection, followed by live music and a reading from the book.

From the publisher:
In this collection of interconnected short stories, told from a male, first person perspective, there are three main characters: Rowdy, Julian and Serena. The stories take place across Tucson, AZ, Phoenix, AZ, Los Angeles, CA and Detroit, MI.

Rowdy is a thirty-something construction worker who returns home after work to find his wife has taken her things and left him. He relapses and ends up passed out on the front lawn of someone he doesn't know way out in suburbia. Trying to piece the previous night back together, he encounters two suburban adolescents, bored and looking for trouble. They cave his head in with a rock.

The next eight stories follow the life of Julian Greyling as he goes from the youngest member of the men's cycling National Team to the front man of a punk band that almost makes it in Los Angeles, to the barrio of Phoenix where he falls in love with a nude dancer, Serena, who gets him into crystal meth. He has already been drinking since he quit bike racing, and he hits bottom when Serena leaves him while scoring more meth at her grandmother's house. Trying to get his life together, he accepts a job as a journalist in Detroit, MI, only to discover that when he quits drinking (because his body rejects it and he almost dies), he can no longer write the bar stories of people on the fringe that he was hired to tell. So, he goes sober, losing his girlfriend and his job at once. In the last of the Julian stories, he is with his first sober love, but feels unworthy and deeply contemplates suicide while reviewing their domestic life together and facing down his depression.

The final story belongs to Serena, years later, now married to a plumber with two children. Still addicted to crystal meth, she douses herself in gasoline and sets herself on fire while spinning. It is the only way she can imagine to transcend the pain of this life.

BRIAN SMITH has written for many magazines and alt-weeklies, and his fiction has appeared in a variety of literary journals. He's an award-winning journalist, first as a staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times and then as an editor at Detroit's Metro Times. Before writing full time, Smith was a songwriter who fronted rock 'n' roll bands Beat Angels and, before that, GAD. He has penned tunes with lots of folks, including Alice Cooper. At one point he overcame heady crystal meth and alcohol addictions. As a kid growing up in Tucson, Ariz., Smith was a national class bicycle racer. He now lives back in Tucson where he writes a regular column in the Tucson Weekly centered on unsung heroes, people on the fringes and the desolate beauty found in unlikely places. Spent Saints is his debut collection of short stories.

Spent Saints & Other Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9781564390080
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ridgeway Press - March 1st, 2017

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