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The Master Blaster

A Novel

P.F. Kluge - Author

ePub eBook | $12.99 | add to cart | view cart
ISBN 9781468300031 | 304 pages | 29 Mar 2012 | Overlook | 18 - AND UP
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The much-hailed author of Gone Tomorrow, has crafted a luminous portrayal of strangers adrift in an intoxicating land. This captivating novel intertwines the stories of several inhabitants on Saipan, America's least-appreciated tropical island. George Griffin is a jaded writer who comes for a press junket and stays far longer than expected; Stephanie Warner is a university professor recently on "trial separation" from her husband; Mel Brodie is an elderly entrepreneur; and Khan is a Bangladeshi laborer who comes to Saipan ("America") to escape hunger. Their voices circle the enthralling element of Saipan-and the hopes that originally drew them to the island.

With the versatility that won Kluge accolades as the writer behind Dog Day Afternoon, The Master Blaster is a rare wonder of contemporary storytelling.



"Kluge paints an entertainingly sardonic portrait of the newest part of America, which he presents, more generally, as being emblematic of 'where America ends.'" — Library Journal



"This title is recommended for large popular collections for its interesting character development, plot twists, and 'gotcha' ending." — Booklist



"As the Master Blaster says of Saipan: 'Americans dream of islands. Islanders dream of America. This is where the dreams converge.' Delving deep into his rich setting, P.F. Kluge patiently lays out a tale of intrigue and ignorance worthy of Graham Greene." — Stewart O'Nan, author of Wish You Were Here



"When four lost souls arrive on the same night flight to Saipan, they wager who among them will last the longest. Fear, violence, sex, and money blow like trade winds across this Fantasy Island, a microscopic petri dish of greed and race sweltering in the American Pacific. Kluge is among our finest novelists, and he flexes his muscles over this postage stamp of territory. Like all the greats before him, he saves his best line for last, in this his greatest book." — Tony D'Souza, author of Mule


"The Master Blaster is one forced to struggle with the tension between his dreams of what might have been and the sordid reality of island life. Many of us, islanders and expats alike, should be able to recognize ourselves in the man . . . the drama is riveting. Why shouldn’t it be? Lots of us have lived it."
--Francis X. Hezel, author of Strangers in their Own Land and New Shape of Old Island Cultures

"That voice -- jaundiced, seasoned, amused and vibrant as it is -- gives The Master Blaster added allure. This is not a young man's book; it's the work of a writer who has seen the world, literally and figuratively, for a long time. "The Master Blaster" is tinged with thoughts of mortality, but they are offset by a bon vivant's occasional flash of gratitude and beauty."
--Janet Maslin, New York Times

"Kluge, a professor at Kenyon College, is knowing and skillful with the shifting story lines . . . The Master Blaster is an ode to our myth of the fresh start. It's also a sly history lesson about colonial powers and native misrule. It's an expose, seeded when Magellan discovered the archipelago in 1521. It's a love poem to Saipan disguising none of its warts."
--Cleveland Plain Dealer

"The remote Pacific island of Saipan is the setting for this story of strangers adrift in a strange land full of twists and turns."
--Denver Post

"Kluge not only crafts a first-rate mystery, but also demystifies the ways our personal histories and ambitions seem inevitably to debunk even the noblest of our myths."
--Shelf Awareness


"[Kluge's] writing is right on the mark . . . highly imaginative." — Kirkus Reviews


"All of these characters along with the Master Blaster have their own narrative threads and Kluge's weaving is intricate and in many places brilliant. Prose and dialogue snap and crackle." — Boston Globe


"Kluge's novel follows an increasingly entangled plot as it alternates among the quartet's voices, with interruptions by diatribes from an anonymous local blogger, The Master Blaster, self-appointed guardian of the island's soul. From the often amusing clutter of all these voices, Kluge not only crafts a first-rate mystery, but also demystifies the ways our personal histories and ambitions seem inevitably to debunk even the noblest of our myths." — Shelf Awareness


"The Master Blaster is the operator of a bitterly critical blog based on a real site that calls Saipan America's biggest welfare client. The revelation of the bloggers identity is a book dropping stunner." — Akron Beacon Journal



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