Orlando, Florida. Summer of 2009. The Magic are steamrolling through the NBA playoffs, but your life is falling apart. For years you were told that Orlando was the city of the future. Every new high-rise condo and sparkling subdivision confirmed this. Now the boom years are over, and your fiancé is gone. Your house-flipping partner emptied the bank account, sold off the staging furniture, and skipped town. You’re an abandoned man with an empty McMansion you can’t afford, and a dozen properties you can’t sell. What’s your next move, big guy?
Bookended by a choose-your-own-adventure story and a final exam, Bright Lights, Medium-sized City is a formally inventive city novel in the tradition of The Bonfire of the Vanities. Bright Lights follows Marc Turner, a toxic male and hapless house-flipper caught in Orlando’s collapsing housing market. Through text, comic panels, and watercolor illustrations, Nathan Holic’s third novel shepherds readers from the glitz of downtown block parties to the grit of the Bithlo school bus races, with a spiraling detour in which the spirits of Orlando’s past confront Marc and force him to realize the danger of his own ambitions.
Nathan Holicis the author of the novels The Things I Don’t See and American Fraternity Man. He is the editor of Burrow Press’ “15 Views” series, and Graphic Narrative editor for The Florida Review.
“A Florida magnum opus, a masterpiece, a constellation, a novel in novellas, a graphic fictive memoir, a collection of parenting advice, and a catalog of real estate markets, all set to the song of neighborhoods and towns in and around The City Beautiful. The book is also, of course, a penetrating examination of humanity, love, and masculinity in a metropolis known by many for all the wrong reasons.” –David James Poissant, author of The Heaven of Animals
“Nathan Holic writes with the precision and confidence of a true badass. Hide your valuables and DIG IN.” –Lindsay Hunter, author of Eat Only When You’re Hungry
“Bright Lights reminds us we’re all people from some place we care too much about, filled with those we could have treated better.” –Caleb Michael Sarvis, author of Dead Aquarium