Angel Strings

A novel by Gary Eberle

September 1, 1995 • 5.5 x 8.5 • 300 pages • 978-1-56689-034-2

A road-trip book for the 90s, a westward journey through the surreal landscape of the postmodern world.

“Small-time musician Joe Findlay, the hero of Eberle’s first novel, is a caricature cynic. Son of a professional magician, he knows everything is a act: ‘When you’ve been inside the trick since birth and you’ve seen the cheap wires and gears, and you’ve manipulated the silk threads and black velvet bags and mirrors, and you’ve learned how they all work, then it spoils you for later.’ Following his father’s career of low-rent illusion, he plays backup for Elvis impersonators in a Las Vegas casino. Yet he is driven to leave by a vague yearning for the meaning somewhere out there. On the road he meets Violet Tansy, who carries a baby in a box, needs to get to San Diego and matches his cynicism with credulous innocence. Their adventure resembles a madcap buddy movie, but the territory they explore is a dead-on satirical rendering of the American spiritual landscape: Bible believers, neo-Pagans and New Agers pick and choose among the remains of religions in search of something to believe, without any means to discern the true from the false.” —Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Gary Eberle is the author of Angel Strings and one book of nonfiction, The Geography of Nowhere: Finding One’s Self in the Postmodern World. He lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan.


“Gary Eberle has written an engaging and highly entertaining first novel. Joe Findlay’s dazed comic flight from illusion is a journey into self-awareness. I’m glad I signed on for the ride.” —Dan Gerber

“Magic and luck are finally words for grace, and the search for grace is what Gary Eberle’s entertaining first novel is all about. It’s a book that knows how to traverse between the real and the fantastic. . . . Fresh, funny, and wise.” —Stuart Dybek

“A genuinely American ‘lighting out’ novel of the first order. . . . A page-turner of a ride that is raucous and outrageous and relentless in its compassion for characters who, though they are heading at times both east and west, finally reach their destination by following the clearly marked spirit-map of their hearts. Angel Strings is a beauty of a book, its prose luminescent, its high degree of comic accuracy and intelligence reminiscent of Vonnegut. Cross all that with Kerouac and you’ll begin to understand my addiction to their wonderfully inventive debut novel I could not put down.” —Jack Driscoll