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Dzanc Books is nonprofit press specializing in literary fiction and nonfiction. In addition to publishing activities, Dzanc Books also supports the Disquiet International Literary Program.

Bob, or Man on Boat, by Peter Markus

Dzanc Ebooks

Bob, or Man on Boat, by Peter Markus

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Cover FINAL 400.jpg

Bob, or Man on Boat, by Peter Markus

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The heart-aching relationship between fathers and sons with even more enchanting results,Bob, or Man on Boat is a marvel of thrillingly limpid prose—a profound and unforgettable first novel.


“In this timeless tale of big fish eating smaller fish and fathers consuming sons, the narrator directly addresses the reader. . . . There is a sense that the reader is part of this story, part of this tale of generations and searching. The reader is Bob. The reader is a fish.” —Bookslut

“Though it is a novel that can be finished in one evening’s read, Bob, or Man on Boat is the kind of work that moors in your head and, like Bob on his river, never leaves. Markus makes myth so well that it seems like child’s play, like a humming game, but those who’ve tried to write so sparsely know that these kinds of creation gifts only come innate. If it is truly the inimitable that lasts forever, consider Markus going down with the ship.” —NewPages

Bob, or Man on Boat . . . uses the same sparse, poetic, almost primitive style that distinguishes much of Markus’ earlier work. But, for the first time, it demonstrates his ability to prolong the dream, and to sustain the mythic song till the last note is sung.” —The Detroit Metro Times

“Peter Markus is obsessed with a few words: brother, river, mud, lighthouse, fish, moon and star. From this sacred vocabulary springs a body of work . . . that is sometimes confounding, often beautiful, starkly spare and totally unique. Bob, or Man on Boat is an authentically avant-garde work, refreshingly absent of any trace of pretension or irony. It is pure incantation and fable: prayer by any other name.” —Paste Magazine


Peter Markus is the author of a novel, Bob, or Man on Boat, as well as three books of short-short fiction, Good, BrotherThe Moon is a Lighthouse; and The Singing Fish. His fiction has appeared in recent issues of Black Warrior ReviewUnsaidDenver Quarterly, Puerto del SolChicago Review, and the New York Tyrant. He teaches classes in fiction writing at Eastern Michigan University and is the senior writer with the InsideOut Literary Arts Project of Detroit.