Nan Talese, 1996
Agent: Sandra Dijkstra
A joyous, earthy, raunchy feast of a novel that calls to mind John Irving and Ken Kesey, The Holy Book of the Beard takes the classic tale of the young man in the big city out for a riotous, thoroughly nineties spin. Infusing the day-to-day and the mundane with the stuff of legend, deftly mingling farce and tragedy, Brenna has fashioned a contemporary tour de force.
“Amid unmistakable signs of physical, spiritual and social decay, an oddly hopeful sense of community endures among the motley cast of eccentric misfits captured in Brenna's enthralling second novel. [T]his alternately sad, funny, grotesque and sexy yarn centers on Jasper John, a 23-year-old busboy and part-time college student who left Colorado on an unreliable Harley to start a new life in California…Vivid characters, rich dialogue and spellbinding narrative make this odd mix of tragedy, myth and ribaldry memorable and often moving. [The Holy Book of the Beard] is sheer delight.
“This cult favorite in the making has a lot to offer. By turns, it's a vulgarly, howlingly funny and deeply poignant blue-plate special of a book.”