Three Hundred Million (Paperback)
Harper Perennial, 9780062271853, 464pp.
Publication Date: October 14, 2014
An unforgettable novel of an American suburb devastated by a fiendish madman—the most ambitious and important work yet by “the 21st century answer to William Burroughs” (Publishers Weekly).
Blake Butler’s fiction has dazzled readers with its dystopian dreamscapes and swaggering command of language. Now, in his most topical and visceral novel yet, he ushers us into the consciousness of two men in the shadow of a bloodbath: Gretch Gravey, a cryptic psychopath with a small army of burnout followers, and E. N. Flood, the troubled police detective tasked with unpacking and understanding his mind.
A mingled simulacrum of Charles Manson, David Koresh, and Thomas Harris’s Buffalo Bill, Gravey is a sinister yet alluring God figure who enlists young metal head followers to kidnap neighboring women and bring them to his house—where he murders them and buries their bodies in a basement crypt. Through parallel narratives, Three Hundred Million lures readers into the cloven mind of Gravey—and Darrel, his sinister alter ego—even as Flood’s secret journal chronicles his own descent into his own, eerily similar psychosis.
A portrait of American violence that conjures the shadows of Ariel Castro, David Koresh, and Adam Lanza, Three Hundred Million is a brutal and mesmerizing masterwork, a portrait of contemporary America that is difficult to turn away from, or to forget.
About the Author
Blake Butler is the author of five books of fiction, including There Is No Year and Scorch Atlas; a work of hybrid nonfiction, Nothing: A Portrait of Insomnia; and two collaborative works, Anatomy Courses with Sean Kilpatrick and One with Vanessa Place and Christopher Higgs. He is the founding editor of HTMLGIANT, "the Internet literature magazine blog of the future," and maintains a weekly column covering literary art and fast food for Vice magazine. His other work has appeared widely, including in The Believer, the New York Times, Fence, Dazed and Confused, and The Best Bizarro Fiction of the Decade. He lives in Atlanta.
Praise For Three Hundred Million: A Novel…
— Warren Ellis, author of Gun Machine and Crooked Little Vein
“300,000,000 establishes Blake Butler as our premier literary shaman. . . . [It] draws us into the darkest circles of human motivation. You’ll think about it daily and return to it compulsively; it will leave you with fever dreams of the highest possible resolution.”
— Alissa Nutting, author of Tampa
“This book is like a Rorschach blot made of blood. All my darkest visions appeared there. Blake Butler’s work is not for the faint of heart. And I mean that as a high compliment.”
— Jenny Offill, author of Dept. of Speculation