A "shamelessly funny" (Kirkus) and utterly original new novel from Mark Leyner about a father and his intense and devout relationship with his daughter and with alcohol.
An anthropologist and his daughter travel to Kermunkachunk, the capital of Chalazia, to conduct research for an ethnography on the Chalazian Mafia Faction (a splinter group of the Chalazian Children’s Theater). The book takes place over the course of a night at the Bar Pulpo, Kermunkachunk’s #1 spoken-word karaoke bar. Moreover, it’s Thursday, “Father/Daughter Nite,” when the bar is frequented by actual fathers and daughters as well as couples cosplaying fathers and daughters.
Somehow emanating from the letters on an optometrist’s eye chart, from karaoke screens in the bar, and from posters on a piazza that’s the scene of phantasmagorical and unending mob wars, Last Orgy of the Divine Hermit relentlessly pulls the rug out from under itself, leaving you suspended in a state of perpetual exhilaration.
Leyner, one of the most blazingly imaginative and influential writers of the last thirty years, has not only written his funniest novel, he’s broken through to something entirely unprecedented. Imagine tripping on a hallucinogen made by an alien intelligence and then wanting to immediately call your dad (in this world or the next) and tell him that you love him—that’s what reading Last Orgy of the Divine Hermit is like.
It’s a novel about the deep pleasures of reading and drinking, the tumultuous reign of a cabal of mystic mobsters, and, of course, the transcendent love of a father for his daughter. Last Orgy of the Divine Hermit is like nothing else you’ve ever read before.
About the Author
Mark Leyner is the author of the novels Gone with the Mind; The Sugar-Frosted Nutsack; My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist;Et Tu, Babe; and The Tetherballs of Bougainville. His nonfiction includes the #1 New York Times bestseller Why Do Men Have Nipples?, and he cowrote the movie War, Inc. Leyner currently lives in Hoboken, New Jersey.
“Part epic and part exegesis, part folktale and part gravy bender, part song and part scream. A fiction…that screams all the parts.”—Mitch Therieau, n+1
"Narrative form is an ever malleable plaything in Leyner’s ostentatiously acrobatic new novel. . . . shamelessly funny."—Kirkus Reviews
"With Last Orgy of the Divine Hermit, Mark Leyner—comic virtuoso, avant-garde literary tummler, trope-exploder extraordinaire—has outdone himself. After more than three decades, he remains the funniest and bravest of writers, not to mention the one least interested in stale conventions of fiction. We are lucky to have Leyner. Without his books to read, I probably would have enucleated my eyes with a melon-baller a long time ago."—Sam Lipsyte, author of Hark and The Ask
“Like a neck realignment you didn’t know you needed, and didn’t even ask for, Last Orgy of the Divine Hermit will leave you amazed, euphoric and stunned. Underneath the brilliant one-liners, wide-ranging satire and thrillingly violent slapstick set pieces, is a poignant story about a father’s love for his daughter, and his terror of losing the one person on earth who seems to vaguely understand him. Aggressively original, intensely inventive and extremely funny, Leyner’s new novel reminds me of why his books inspired me to start writing fiction in the first place. Stop being such a coward for once in your damn life and read Mark Leyner.”—Simon Rich, author of Hits & Misses
“As in most of Leyner’s novels, these little joke-bombs go off on nearly every page…a weirdly exciting reading experience. The serious work of this comedy is to depict a father’s love for his daughter and their shared recognition that they won’t always be together. It’s played out across a hall of mirrors, an 'infinite regress of fathers and daughters.' The situation arouses pathos, which Leyner acknowledges before relentlessly hyperbolizing, satirizing and detonating the pathos. The novel’s underlying poignancy, however, remains intact.”—Ken Kalfus, New York Times Book Review
“Sentimentality, it seems, can take many forms much like history, mythology and folklore. In this case it’s a little beacon in clouds of chaos. The Last Orgy of the Divine Hermit is of a piece with Leyner’s body of work, while also baring an underlying sweetness as the author recognizes and updates the trope of the mad scientist with the daughter.”—Houston Chronicle
"Exhilarating and grotesque."—Publishers Weekly
“Mark Leyner is one of the most inventive, receptive, and uproariously funny novelists working today. He’s also, somehow, one of the most compassionate. Sure, on its face, Last Orgy of the Divine Hermit is about two drunk anthropologists and their obsession with ultraviolent street soldiers. But it’s also a story of love and family, the comforts of ritual, and the sad mystery of death. Like a power ballad—beautiful because it’s unhinged—this novel should play on repeat, forever, in all the karaoke bars of the world.”—Dan Piepenbring, editor of The Beautiful Ones and coauthor of CHAOS: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties
"I laughed myself silly. If you haven't read Mark Leyner, try this book!"—Nell Zink, author of Doxology
"All the trademarks of a typical Leyner bizarrerie are on display, from the high-flown language and po-mo hijinks to the endless pop culture references and comic non sequiturs. The weirdest . . . novel in an admirably weird career . . . what I respect most about Mr. Leyner: He’s the undisputed master of a style of writing he invented, whose rules no one else can really understand.” —Wall Street Journal