Lee Oser
Scarith, 2007
152 Pages
ISBN 978-0-9787713-4-8 Paperback

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About the Author

Lee Oser played in The Riflebirds, a popular rock and roll band in Portland, Oregon, during the 1980s. He currently teaches English at the College of the Holy Cross, in Worcester, Massachusetts. He is the author of T. S. Eliot and American Poetry and The Ethics of Modernism:  Moral Ideas in Yeats, Eliot, Joyce, Woolf, and Beckett. His poetry has appeared in Commonweal, National Review, and South- west Review. Out of What Chaos is his first novel.

About the book

Set on the West Coast during Bush II’s first term, Out of What Chaos showcases the escapades of Rex and The Brains as they settle into the Portland rock scene, record their first CD, and tour from Vancouver to LA behind their chart-topping single, “F U. I Just Want To Get My Rocks Off.” The boys party on, finding their way amidst the frenzied panorama of twenty-first century America. The country embraces them in all its crazy glory, from witches to priests, from groupies to politicians, from drug dealers to porno stars to college professors. As the band’s fame grows, tragedy strikes, and Freddie finds himself torn between his rock-and-roll lifestyle and his girlfriend, Sheila Corcoran, whose claim on his heart continues to grow. In the end, the worlds of love and celebrity collide, and Freddie must make a decision about how to live.


“This book is more or less what one would expect if Walker Percy wrote about a cynical rock musician who converts to Catholicism, and then Nabokov added some of his verbal pyrotechnics, and then Buster Keaton and the Marquis de Sade and Lionel Trilling inserted a few extra passages.”
—Matt Greenfield, The Valve, www.thevalve.org

“In smart, wiry prose, Lee Oser has created a witty Bildungsroman set in the world of rockers in the Northwest. In a world where the “choices” offered are life-denying or trivial, Oser negotiates a set of alternatives for his characters–and his readers.”
—James Najarian, Boston College.

“Lee Oser has crafted a hedonistically spiritual rock ‘n’ roll morality play. Freddie Fontane is the new Holden Caulfield for the wi-fi generation. In a world of transient American Idols, in relentless pursuit of their Warholian fifteen minutes, Freddie is the unfailing pragmatist, searching for truth in a world of pretense and artifice.”
—S. P. Clarke, Two Louies magazine.