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The Blindfold Test

240 Pages

Published May 2020

The Blindfold Test
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About the Book


A raucous comedy about a paranoid loser who maybe wasn't paranoid enough...

In the sixties, Jeffrey Parker briefly attended an antiwar rally. He wasn't all that interested--he just listened to a few speeches, and went home...and nothing was ever the same.

In this wildly comic novel, Parker's brief dalliance is the beginning of the end. He never lands a decent job. Women never stick around. He has terrible stretches of bad luck, and is the unwilling victim of just plain bizarre occurances: once, he comes home to find that the final page in every one of his books has been removed.

Then Parker discovers that he's been the target of a government plot--like the FBI's real-life COINTELPRO--and the obsession of a rogue FBI agent who just won't give up.

This outrageously imaginative debut is reminiscent of John Kennedy Toole's explosive, out-of-nowhere farce A Confederacy of Dunces. Part thriller, part national tragedy, and all hysterical comedy, it is devilishly entertaining even as it forces Parker and readers to uncover the truth not only about their country, but about themselves.

Praises

“Reading Blindfold Test is a new and radical pleasure. Barry Schechter regards the dirty tricks with which life undoes his protagonist-the nightmare neighbors and prodigious happenings-with a kind of glee. We are reminded that Kafka was supposed to have held his sides laughing while he read friends his stories.”
-Lore Segal, author of Shakespeare’s Kitchen

The Blindfold Test is a beautiful and terrifying pleasure, a metaphysically witty novel rich with melancholy joie de vivre.” -Matthew Sharpe, author of The Sleeping Father

“part-comedy, part-thriller….The Blindfold Test is blanketed with paranoia, quite Kafkaesque…”
—NewcityLit

“the kind of novel Woody Allen and Hunter S. Thompson would’ve written together if they could’ve gotten along….That Schechter can combine HST’s gonzo morality and pacing with Allen’s deadpan is almost too much. But still, we couldn’t get enough.”
—Jonathan Messinger, TimeOut Chicago

“The slapstick comedy…never entirely drowns out an undercurrent of hard-won paranoia. And the best thing that Schechter does, the thing that earns his book a deserved double take, happens when you hear the conspiratorial whispers yourself.”
—Philadelphia City Paper

“…a funny book with lots of local color.”
—Chicago Reader PDF

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