Thirty-Seven by Peter Stenson
Thirty-Seven by Peter Stenson
Publication Date: February 5, 2019
Paperback: 288 pages
Not yet released; orders ship in January
One of Boolist's Best Ten Horror Books of 2018
The Survivors, their members known only by the order in which they joined, live alone in a rural Colorado mansion. They believe that sickness bears honesty. And that honesty bears change. Fueled by the ritualized Cytoxan treatments that leave them on the verge of death, they instigate the Day of Gifts, a day that spells shocking violence and the group’s demise.
Enter Mason Hues, formerly known as Thirty-Seven, the group’s final member and the only one both alive and free. Eighteen years old and living in a spartan apartment after his release from a year of intensive mental health counseling, he takes a job at a thrift shop and expects to while away his days as quietly and unobtrusively as possible.
But when his enigmatic boss Talley learns his secret, she comes to believe that there is still hope in the Survivor philosophy. She pushes Mason to start the group over again—this time with himself as One.
Part Fight Club, part The Girls, and entirely unlike anything you’ve ever experienced, Peter Stenson’s Thirty-Seven is an audacious and austere novel that explores our need to belong. Our need to be loved. Our need to believe in something greater than ourselves, and our ultimate capacity for self-delusion.
PRAISE FOR THIRTY-SEVEN
“With his second novel, Stenson proves to be a more articulate, more empathic, and more intelligent version of Chuck Palahniuk. Stenson's sentences devastate, and his characters are nuanced and warm ... A book that manages to break your heart, make you dizzy, and punch you in the gut all at once. You will be hard-pressed to find a novel as dark or intense in any bookstore."
—Kirkus Reviews (starred)
“Unnerving but spellbinding...Stenson's brilliantly vivid prose and striking characters deserve the widest possible audience."
“An eerie, complex, and unsettling portrayal of a traumatized teen caught between the brainwashing tenets of a self-destructive cult and the more common indoctrination into mainstream society’s expectations...This novel is a provocative, thoroughly gripping ride."
—Publishers Weekly (starred)
“Uneasy but engaging...Writing is extremely engaging, with clever uses of rhythm, repetition, and other musicality that give portions of the story a songlike feel ... Thirty-Seven is uncomfortable, disturbing, and impossible to put down.”
“It is such a gift when you read something that really sings, that is so unique and vivid that you can’t put it down but you want to savor every second....This is not a traditional horror novel, but Stenson is not a traditional writer. He does his own thing and he innovates in a way that is not only new, but courageous—and he is not afraid to get dark....I want to put this one in everyone’s hands—start a little Survivors cult of my own.."
PRAISE FOR PETER STENSON AND FIEND
“Shockingly personal…Shaun of the Dead meets Trainspotting."
“Shambling, scabrous figures rotting from the inside out and driven by an insatiable hunger—there are more than a few similarities between meth heads and zombies. Stenson exploits all of them in Fiend.”
"[Stands] apart from the pack of zombie lit…Stenson has a sharp ear for language and a gift for dark humor."
“Best read of the year. Best zombie book, ever. Masterful illustration about how painful and overwhelming addiction can be…I want every book I read to enthrall me as consistently and emotionally as Fiend did.”
"Certain to invite comparisons to Hubert Selby and Cormac McCarthy…one scalding pressure cooker of a novel, and I advise you to buckle up and hold on tight because you’re in for one hell of a ride."
—Donald Ray Pollock, author of The Devil All the Time and Knockemstiff
“This is the real meat. The last zombie novel you’ll ever need.”
—Warren Ellis, New York Times bestselling author of Gun Machine and Twisted Little Vein
"Peter Stenson has done the near impossible in delivering a savage firestorm of a page-turner while also enabling a hard and earnest look at addiction and love. I tore through Fiend with the crazed fervor of an addict, but like all great stories these characters lingered in my thoughts long after I turned the last beautiful and brutal page."
—Alan Heathcock, National Magazine Award-winning author of Volt
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Peter Stenson received his MFA from Colorado State University in 2012. His first novel, Fiend, was an Amazon Best Book of the Month for July 2013. His stories and essays have been published in The Bellevue Literary Review, The Greensboro Review, Confrontation, Blue Mesa Review, and elsewhere. He lives with his wife and family in Denver, Colorado.