PETER GADOL reads from his new novel THE STRANGER GAME
The Stranger Game (Hanover Square Press)
The word ‘follow’ seems to have lost its meaning in the digital age. Now, when someone is following you on Instagram or Twitter, it’s hardly cause for alarm. But Peter Gadol begs an eerie question in his sixth novel, The Stranger Game: What if those ‘following’ you on social media brought back the literal meaning of the word… What if they started following you in real life?
In the age of social media, humanity is, at large, lonely. This includes Rebecca and her boyfriend, Ezra, a fan of the viral sensation “the stranger game." The games, in which players literally follow strangers in their day-to-day lives has swept the nation and disappearances – including Ezra’s – are reported as players drift aimlessly from subject to subject. Hoping to find him, Rebecca tried the game and meets Carey. As their relationship and game play deepen, Rebecca uncovers an unsettling subculture that has infiltrated her world. Playing the stranger game may lead her closer to Ezra, but also further from the life she once lived.
Riddled with Patricia Highsmith-like anxiety and the alienation of Paul Auster, The Stranger Game is a haunting tale of literary suspense about a viral game spinning perilously – and criminally – out of control.
Praise for Peter Gadol
“‘Following’ gets a whole new meaning in Peter Gadol’s stylish psychological thriller set in the future of the day-after-tomorrow. A moody, increasingly dangerous house of mirrors where the rules morph as his players become more obsessed with ‘the stranger game.’”— Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander and The Revolution of Marina M.
“Imagine a metaphysical thriller inspired by Patrick Modiano and illustrated by Giorgio Di Chirico and you’ll have an idea of this enigmatic novel, The Stranger Game.”— Edmund White
“The Stranger Game is a gripping and nuanced novel that asks whom we trust and why. It is about being aninsider and an outsider, about being watched and, finally being truly seen.”— Ramona Ausubel, author of Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty
“The ingenious conceit of Peter Gadol's novel—to literalize our obsession with on-line following—yields a psychological thriller that brilliantly exposes the state-of-the-culture, one in which we have traded authentic emotional connection for a virtual one whose implications for the soul are troubling. Like the best of Highsmith and Hitchcock rolled into one,The Stranger Game is a compulsively absorbing and thought-provoking triumph.”— Marisa Silver, author of Little Nothing and Mary Coin on The Stranger Game
“[A beautifully written, suspenseful new novel.”— Los Angeles Times
"Gadol brings you into his story quickly. His prose is lyrical but beautifully spare."— Seattle Times
“The Long Rain is at once dark and radiant, moving and chilling. It tells a harsh story in seductive, irresistible prose; it explores the most universal human weaknesses by giving us all the particulars of a unique and mysterious world.”— Michael Chabon
"A beautifully written, richly atmospheric novel."— Jennifer Egan
"The Long Rain, with swift finesse, collapses several thriller genres into one… Surprise upon satisfying surprise."— Baltimore Sun
"A novel of riveting suspense...A rare treat that will appeal to readers of many genres. It will satisfy those who love suspense thrillers and will not disappoint those who savor the craft of fine fiction."— Sun Sentinel
"Delivers plenty of action...Gadol is a gifted writer."— San Francisco Chronicle
Peter Gadol's six novels include Silver Lake, Light at Dusk, and The Long Rain. His work has appeared in journals such as Tin House, StoryQuarterly, Story, Bloom, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. Silver Lake was nominated for awards from Lambda Literary and the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association and has been optioned for feature film adaptation. The Long Rain was nominated for an award from PEN USA and is currently in development by MGM Studios to be made into a TV series. A former NEA Fellow, Gadol lives in Los Angeles, where he is Chair of MFA Writing at Otis College of Art and Design.
Photo by Chris Tweed-Kent