In Kevin Kilroy’s terrific debut, what so beguiles is not just the madness-soaked premise, or the grimed love letter to Chicago we quickly realize we are reading, or the fabulous medium-boiled narrator, with his “butter always out and locatable”, or the songs that pop up along the way with their references to minotaurs and LSD, it’s also the carefully crafted, excellently modulated delirium at the level of language. This is a novel in which, after all, we read unambiguous injunctions like “Step off the motherfucking bus!” but also sallies like “Too languid for the laughing heart” and “Too hairy for the horrid who.” The Escapees is really something, it’s like Dashiell Hammett meets Eugène Ionesco meets the 21st century (with some resurgent ghost-gobbling 80s technology in the mix too).
Laird Hunt, author of Neverhome
If Thomas Pynchon and Nelson Algren pulled an all-nighter at a Chicago laundromat to write a novel, The Escapees would be that novel. Kilroy has deftly written a philosophical mystery set in a city of crumbling ontologies, where keys are plenty, but locks are few.
Rowland Saifi, author of Lit Windows
Kevin Kilroy is a writer and a teacher living in Kansas City. His stories have been published by Akashic, Fact-Simile, Masque & Spectacle, Hot Whiskey, Poets & Artists, Sherlock Holmes & Philosophy and others. Kevin co-founded Black Lodge Press, served as the Drama editor with Requited Journal and on the Fiction Board with Another Chicago Magazine(ACM).