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The first novel by George K. Ilsley, whose first story collection, "Random Acts of Hatred," was published to acclaim in 2004. Told in dream-like fragments, "ManBug" unfolds as a love story between Sebastian, an entomologist with Asperger's Syndrome, and Tom, a spiritual bisexual who may or may not be recruiting Sebastian for a cult. They navigate their relationship as damaged goods, seeking meaning and value in themselves through the other; they also try to avoid the inevitable toxins around them, both real and imagined-like bugs avoiding insecticide-while asking the question, Just how much poison can any of us absorb? "ManBug" is a beguiling, tragicomic novel about beauty, horror, desire, and what lurks just beneath the skin.
George K. Ilsley is the author of the story collection Random Acts of Hatred; his stories have also appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines.
"Sexy, funny and daring - a bug's eye view of how we invent and elude one another, how we try to capture the ineffable with words and are left only with mantras. Reckless, unflinching, and just crazy enough, Ilsley fights his way toward a new taxonomy of the real, one of the few steps forward for gay fiction in many years. People will call this book postmodern, but it is something much finer and harder: modern, and assigned reading for everybody". - Mark Merlis, author of An Arrow's Flight and Man About Town"