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Animal: Notes from a Labyrinth

ISBN: 9798988717348
Binding: Paperback
Author: Alan Fishbone
Pages: 116
Trim: 5.25 x 8 inches
Published: 05/15/2024

At times exuberant and at other times dark and haunting, Fishbone's stories delve into the twilight zone of New York's seedy bars and cocaine dens; they reveal the troubled soul of a German expressionist painter; they describe a latter-day "hunger artist" exorcising his own demons; they let us participate in a Venezuelan bacchanal; they explore the tangled lives of sex workers at the margins of society; and they link our contemporary political, social, and personal fixations with the desires and hang-ups of Romans like Catullus and Horace. A work both outrageous and wise, Animal relentlessly probes the human condition in all its glorious and wretched complexity.


Alan Fishbone has had a varied career as a writer, professor of Classics, martial arts instructor, bartender, construction worker, and sail boat captain. He's still looking. In the meantime, when not offshore, he lives and works in New York City.


"Part novel, part essay, part travelogue of trips to Europe, New York, and South America, the book is also a letter addressed to Fishbone's lover, referred to as 'you.' The writer looks into his own soul with brutal, crude honesty and asks the same of 'you.' Toggling between erudition and sexual fetishes and violence, the narrative is hard to stomach, beautiful, forgiving, and tender in equal measure, much the same way as looking in a mirror is liable to feel. Fishbone's work is a courageous, curious, and experimental example for 'you' to follow." - Mari Carlson

"Boldly experimental in form, yet with enough narrative drive to hold the reader's attention, ANIMAL: Notes from a Labyrinth is a refreshingly challenging read. Author Alan Fishbone's meta-textual, frequently scatological novella will linger long in the memory of those bold enough to enter its labyrinth." - Anonymous