Reviews > Published on July 20th, 2015

Bookshots: "The Disassembled Man" by Jon Bassoff

Bookshots: Pumping new life into the corpse of the book review


The Disassembled Man

Who wrote it?:

The story became something deeper, more than a shocking and twisted sketch of violence in the desert.

Jon Bassoff, author of Corrosion and Factory Town.

Plot in a Box:

The novel follows Frankie Avicious, a man who has taken all the wrong turns in life. Although he married Ruth Richardson, a woman with a stinking rich father, he received none of the benefits. Instead of a high end job at Sunshine Foods, the slaughterhouse Richard Richardson runs, he works right in the thick of it all, cutting the throats of cattle. He's got a drinking problem, a crush on a stripper named Scarlett, plenty of enemies, and not much of a future ahead of him...until he starts putting his penchant for killing to use in an attempt to change the course of his destiny.

Invent a new title for this book:


Read this if you liked:

Crooked Little Vein by Warren Ellis, Sick City by Tony O'Neill

Meet the book’s lead:

Frankie Avicious

Said lead would be portrayed in a movie by:

Colin Farrell

Setting: would you want to live there?

Huerfano, Arizona. Definitely not.

What was your favorite sentence?

So I was up Shit Creek without a paddle or a plunger.

The Verdict:

I didn't know what to make of Frankie at first. He seemed to be a pessimistic drunk with no loveable qualities, a tough narrator to follow. As the novel progressed, however, memories from his past began to bleed through and I felt something like sympathy for him. I was glad for some of his backstory. Once I knew more about why he was the way he was, I could get on board. The story became something deeper, more than a shocking and twisted sketch of violence in the desert. 

I don't naturally gravitate to novels like Bassoff's The Disassembled Man, but after reading it, I'm wondering why! I imagine Bassoff had a great time writing this book. It's filled with both original and previously forgotten (but great) turns of phrase. Frankie gets himself into wild situations, and it's a thrill to read as he manages to barely skate by. The other characters are distasteful, yet certainly entertaining. My favorite was probably Richard's ex-wife, Marilyn, who had since moved on to guzzling martinis and remarrying a mailman, every woman's dream.

Although I sometimes got lost in the blood and darkness of it all, it was all worth it for the payoff of the ending, which I found to be so well done and eerie that I got goosebumps. If you're looking to read something raw, creepy, and fast-paced, pick up The Disassembled Man. Good luck "keeping it together."

About the author

Christine J. Schmidt is a writer originally from New Jersey. After receiving her BFA in Dramatic Writing from SUNY Purchase, she worked at Seattle Repertory Theatre as their artistic literary intern. She recently left Brooklyn, where she was a bookseller and events host at WORD, to reside in Los Angeles. She has previously written for New York Theatre Review, and her plays have been read and produced at theaters in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Washington. Coffee is her favorite thing.

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