Reviews > Published on July 8th, 2017

Bookshots: 'The Sarah Book' by Scott McClanahan

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


The Sarah Book

Who wrote it?

Scott McClanahan is the author of Stories, Stories II (Six Gallery Press), Stories V! (Holler Presents), The Complete Stories of Scott McLanahan Vol. 1 (Lazy Fascist Press) and Crapalachia: A Biography of a Place (Two Dollar Radio). He lives in West Virginia, where he is co-founder of Holler Presents, and he would love to eat chicken wings with you.

Plot in a box:

A fictional memoir in which Scott falls in love with Sarah, marries Sarah, and then gets divorced by Sarah.

Invent a new title for this book:

Cold November Rain in West Virgina

Read this if you like(d):

It’s a rare thing to get to use the world "excellent" in a review, but this novel was excellent.

Norman Mailer, Mary Karr, Sam Pink, and meta-Bret Easton Ellis

Meet the lead(s):


Scott McClanahan

Said lead(s) would be portrayed in a movie by:

Sarah: Parker Posey

Scott McClanahan: Seth MacFarlane (this could work with a great director)

Setting: Would you want to live there?

Beckley, Virginia. It sounds like the Claremont, NH of the South. Sure, it probably has better weather than Claremont.

Favorite line:

I thought about the million dicks in my mind.

The Verdict:

Wow. It’s a rare thing to get to use the world "excellent" in a review, but this novel was excellent. McClanahan has already established himself as an exciting new writer, but with this book he takes a step towards being one of the great writers of this decade. It’s not a plot-driven book in the traditional sense, but it’s a page-turner because I need to know what "the character" will say next. I need to know more about him and Sarah. McClanahan breaks down expectations of what a novel should be, in creating a work that will be as memorable as the love and heartbreak he felt for Sarah.

Get The Sarah Book at Bookshop or Amazon

About the author

Christoph Paul is the Managing Editor and owner of CLASH Books, who have published over 60 books and have been covered by NPR, Poets & Writers, Rolling Stone, Believer Magazine, Oprah Magazine, The Observer, Fangoria, and Publisher's Weekly. The press has had books translated into Spanish, French, and Italian. He has been editing books in almost every genre for over a decade. As an author, he won a humor award and had viral cult success under a pen name. He is the lead singer and bass player of the rock band The Dionysus Effect, who have received positive reviews in Loudwire, EARMILK, and Red Rock Magazine. He sometimes writes songs about the books he publishes because even artists are inspired by their day jobs. Follow him on Twitter @christophpaul_ @clashbooks @dionysuseffect.

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