From the author of Booker Prize finalist The Sisters Brothers: “Viciously hilarious . . . deWitt’s portrayal of the drinking life is staunchly unromantic.” —Time Out New York
In a famous, but declining, Hollywood bar works a barman, morbidly amused by the decadence of his surroundings. He quietly observes as the patrons fall into their nightly oblivion, taking notes for his novel. In the hopes of uncovering their secrets and motives, he establishes tentative friendships with a cast of variously pathological regulars.
But as his tenure at the bar continues, he begins to serve himself more often than his customers, and the time he spends outside the bar becomes more and more painful. He loses his wife, his way, himself. Trapped by habits and loneliness, the barman realizes he will not survive if he doesn’t break free. And so he hatches a terrible, necessary plan of escape and redemption.
“Sharp and bitter and funny” (Los Angeles Times), Ablutions steps behind the bar and goes below rock bottom for a brilliant new twist on the classic tale of addiction and its consequences “so punctuated with tiny, heartbreaking moments of grace—it becomes impossible to put the book down” (Portland Mercury).
“Dark and provocative . . . ‘Ablutions’ has achieved something remarkable.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Melancholic, sentimental, and very funny.” —Harper’s Bazaar (UK)
“As heartbreaking as it is hilarious . . . an utterly compelling novel.” —The Believer