Feast Day of the Cannibals

240 pages


ISBN: 9781942658474

Trade Paper

List Price US $16.99
ISBN: 9781942658467

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“This spectacular work will delight and awe readers with Lock’s magisterial wordsmithing.”

Library Journal (starred review)

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“Transfixing. . . . This historically authentic novel raises potent questions about sexuality during an unsettling era in American history past and is another impressive entry in Lock’s dissection of America’s past.”

Publishers Weekly

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“Lock’s latest entry in his superb American Novels series again features his remarkable eye for historical detail and fine-tuned felicity with the language of the period. At times, the sparkling prose is nearly indistinguishable from that of the authors Lock so clearly admires, Melville, Hawthorne, and Thoreau. . . . The mellifluous language, literary allusions, and some subtle Moby-Dick parallels, such as Melville using a harpoon to kill rats in the hulls of ships, will delight fans of classic American literature.”


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“Engrossing and elegant, Feast Day of the Cannibals captures America’s kaleidoscopic spirit during a tumultuous, rapacious era.”

Foreword Reviews

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“While Moby-Dick is often referenced by the characters, it’s Billy Budd, a later work of Melville’s, that’s alluded to thematically, as Lock addresses questions of desire and repression, both personal and societal. . . . [Feast Day of the Cannibals] memorably provides a window into old New York and its narrator’s conflicted mind.”

Kirkus Reviews

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“A slow-burning tale of repression and sublimation, a work that tells a tale of obsession and the violence that ensues.”

Vol. 1 Brooklyn

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In the sixth stand-alone book in The American Novels series, Shelby Ross, a merchant ruined by the depression of 1873–79, is hired as a New York City Custom House appraiser under inspector Herman Melville, the embittered, forgotten author of Moby-Dick. On the docks, Ross befriends a genial young man and makes an enemy of a despicable one, who attempts to destroy them by insinuating that Ross and the young man share an unnatural affection. Ross narrates his story to his childhood friend Washington Roebling, chief engineer of the soon-to-be-completed Brooklyn Bridge. As he is harried toward a fate reminiscent of Ahab’s, he encounters Ulysses S. Grant, dying in a brownstone on the Upper East Side; Samuel Clemens, who will publish Grant’s Memoirs; and Thomas Edison, at the dawn of the electrification of the city.

Feast Day of the Cannibals charts the harrowing journey of a tormented heart during America’s transformative age.

Foreword Reviews “Book of the Day” selection

Excerpt from Feast Day of the Cannibals