The Last Smoker on Earth
and the End of Literature
All great writers in history were smokers but now smoking had been banned globally effective New Year’s Day 2009. The Act of Cessation was launched during the transition between the Bush and Obama administrations with dire implications because of the rampant rumor of Obama being a closet-smoker. This book is a parody about a brilliant writer who lives two lives – one in the media industry interfacing with celebrities, a number of whom make cameo appearances. The other is his secret life as the last smoker on earth. Facilitated by nicotine stimulation, the protagonist is on a mission to return literature to society as a closet-smoker, writing the great American novel in his surreptitious sojourns to the underground. If apprehended by the anti-tobacco police he will be incarcerated in a place called the Midnight Express and never heard from again.
"Basil Dillon-Malone is definitely smoking! Last Smoker is witty, satiric, and entertaining. There are laugh-out-loud moments with savvy social commentary. I don't know why but it reminds me of something I recently read by George Burns--"It only takes one drink to get me drunk, the trouble is I can't remember if it’s the 13th or the 14th." Anyway, this is a butt-kicking bit of lyrical-satirical prose."
—Patrick Lawler, Assoc Professor SUNY
"Last Smoker lends itself less to critical scrutiny than to pure enjoyment. Under the wide umbrella of the overarching thesis--the extinction of nicotine-fueled creative writing with the bureaucratically-mandated abolition of smoking--Basil created a funhouse, richly loaded with puns (trivial and quadrivial), and bristling with myriad references (literary and musical, "serious" and pop, obvious and obscure, scientific and simply playful). The result is a rich, funny, imaginative text that defies genre, but which is reminiscent of a number of works by kindred spirits. I'm thinking of Joyce (stream-of-consciousness); of Don DeLillo (the plethora of pop-references); David Foster Wallace (his "infinite jest," studded with scholarly and pseudo-scholarly "notes"); and, last but hardly least, Dostoevsky's NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND."
—Dr. Patrick Keane (PhD NYU) is Professor Emeritus of English, Francis Fallon Chair, LeMoyne College
Basil Dillon-Malone grew up in Ballina, Co. Mayo, and graduated from University College Dublin. He lives in Syracuse, NY. He has written for international publications.
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