This novel is mostly about drunken skateboarding pizza chefs. I spent too many years working in restaurants, and whenever I miss it, I just revisit a few pages of this.
“Rarely are mopping and pizza dough so pleasingly rendered. Even inside When’s world of chaos, Parker’s novel pushes forward with grace. This is a delight of a debut.” -Aimee Bender, author of Willful Creatures and An Invisible Sign of My Own
“Funny, soulful, and energetic, Ovenman is wonderful.” -Mary Gaitskill, author of Veronica
“Jeff Parker is a writer who understands that voice is the doorway to all true beauty in fiction. Tight, wry, dark, and deeply funny – he is a master of the hyper-compressed sentence that explodes with more meaning and nuance than should be possible. Ovenman is a welcome addition to the literature of the lovably hapless by a young writer with talent to burn.” -George Saunders, author of Pastoralia and In Persuasion Nation
“In his utterly original Ovenman, Parker has created a time capsule of the nineties in Central Florida and an ode to the mysteries and hopes and acrobatics of youth. When Thinfinger, the skateboarding philosopher at the heart of this terrific novel, is brilliantly acerbic and uncommonly insightful. And awfully, awfully funny. Here’s a brief note of which I hope he’d approve: This novel really cooks. Read it tonight.” -Bret Anthony Johnston, author of Corpus Christi: Stories
“Mr. Parker has written a weirdly attractive life of people one thought had no life, the pierced and tatted xtremes. Creepy, convincing, hooty, and fun. The movie will be scary.” -Padgett Powell, author of Mrs. Hollingsworth’s Men
An early version of the first chapter of Ovenman appeared in Justin Hocking’s awesome anthology:
I Am Ovenman (Made on occasion of the book’s publication by the artist Ryan Molloy with agreeably strange wormdevil videos and original music by Brad Armstrong of the Dexateens)