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Rabid: A Novel Hardcover – April 1, 2007

26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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*Starred Review* A priest, a professor, the professor's wife, and his mistress--it sounds like the setup for a dirty joke, but debut novelist Kenyon isn't fooling around. What begins as a riff on Peyton Place (salacious small-town intrigue) smoothly metamorphoses into a philosophical battle between science and religion. You would think that in attempting to deal with so many different themes--shady clergy, top-secret scientific research, marital infidelity, lust, love, honor, faith--Kenyon would run the risk of overwhelming readers. But, and this is why Kenyon is definitely an author to watch, she juggles all of her story's elements without dropping any of them--and, let's not forget, creates four very subtle and intriguing central characters. This is a novel quite unlike most standard commercial fare, a genre-bending story--part thriller, part literary slapdown with dialogue as the weapon of choice (think Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?)--that makes us laugh, wince, and reflect all at the same time. Kenyon is definitely a keeper. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


"A solid good read by a gifted writer."  —Thom Jones, author, O. Henry Award winner and National Book Award finalist

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Kunati Inc.; First Edition edition (April 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601640021
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601640024
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,280,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

TK Kenyon is an Iowa Writers' Workshop graduate, novelist, award-winning short story writer, pharmaceutical industry regulatory consultant, technical writer, molecular virologist, neuroscientist, minivan-driving mom, happy wife, cat slave, P90X devotee, surfer, high-handicap golfer, scuba diver, gourmet chef, mostly vegetarian, chocolatier, gardener, capsaicin addict, caffeine junkie, Apache and Scot descendant, native Arizonan, Connectikite, unapologetic Oxfordian, nouveau feminist, political moderate with extremist tendencies, radical atheist, Buddhist-curious, occasional UU, Tamil Ayer Brahmin Hindu by marriage, ex-actress, grown-up child beauty queen, PhD, MFA, BS (in so many ways), ASU Sun Devil, Iowa Hawkeye, UPenn Quaker, and always looking for something interesting to do.

Dr. Kenyon's Daily Writing Apple is a daily writing prompt to help you with your fiction work-in progress, instead of an unrelated writing exercise in creative futility that asks you to write about an elephant or how some other character feels. Subscribe via Atom Posts at

Twitter Handle: @TKKenyon.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Arthur Tirrell on April 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Rabid is one of those reads that hit the ground at full speed and pick up momentum from there. Either T.K. Kenyon doesn't know where the brake pedal is or decided the hell with it, and frankly, I'd bet it was the latter. This is a full blown, balls-to-the-wall scorcher. Dual themes - out-of-control scientific research and[...]- make hot-as-the-devil premises and great platforms for the author's fascinating and often thought-provoking philosophical tirades. Whether science or religion, Rabid gives no quarter. These people are flawed, even hateful. Yet, you feel their pain, their doubt, their fear. They sear their way into your subconscious and in the end you love them and root for them because they are you. If the American priesthood is infested with [...], the underlying causes have never been explained better, made more exciting, or presented in a way that offers so much hope for the future. Get yourself a copy, strap yourself into your favorite chair, and find out what's really been going on in the places you never knew you'd need to start worrying about.

Also recommended: 'Bang BANG' by Lynn Hoffman, an inspiring read.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By D. Dorset on December 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book on a recommendation from a well-read friend, and after recently reading "Special Topics in Calamity Physics," "Saturday," and "Never Let Me Go," this book was exactly what I needed. At first blush, with its delightfully raunchy characters and turbo-charged pace, "Rabid" seems like a here-today, forgotten-tomorrow mass-market thriller you'd pick up in the front of an airport bookstore. However, this intelligent book has some intriguing, unusual themes stuck inside its highly digestible prose. The dialogue is, in my opinion, some of the best I've seen in any novel. The conversations amongst the characters are illuminating and entertaining without being unrealistic. Furthermore, as someone who has degrees in Biotechnology and Biomedical Engineering, I relished Kenyon's many references to laboratory culture.

Kenyon does an impressive job of juggling the four intertwined characters, and I was happy with three of the four endings. One of the character's endings just seemed abrupt and unfinished based on everything that had happened, but this didn't make me enjoy the book any less. This is an amazing and inspiring first effort. Kenyon skillfully teeters on the edge of absurdity with several of the elements in her plot; one almost expects her to take this plunge that many first-time novelists would indulge in, but she keeps the story firmly on the rails despite navigating amongst disparate settings.

If you're weary of a lot of the overwrought and unnecessarily obscure fiction that's been on the market lately and want a read that is unashamedly enjoyable yet thought-provoking, you won't go wrong picking up "Rabid."
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Keefner on September 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Rabid is a fun fantasy of religion and science. It's entertaining in part because author T K Kenyon (no periods after the initials, please) likes showing off her vast knowledge of both. And of pedophile priests.

But fantasy it is. Events and personalities here are just not credible. At various points I asked myself, Is this a parody? Here's a list of a few of the things in the story. MILD SPOILERS AHEAD. A priest who looks like Antonio Banderas (she doesn't say that specifically; she usually compares him to an angel). A scientist who illegally experiments with rabies. Another scientist who illegally experiments with HIV and discovers the secret to the soul. Rampant and blasphemous priestly pedophilia, graphically described. A person tortured by their mother until they become a Catholic zombie. Lots of "casual f***ing." Interesting but inconclusive debates between faith and science. References to Voltaire, Marx, Newman, Joyce, etc. A woman raping a man. Religious renditions. Nobody escapes the Italian Inquisition. END SPOILERS

Really, this novel is a comic book. Realism is left far behind. That's not a put down. There is a place in this world for comic books. Just don't get the idea that this is literary fiction, despite the fact that the author got her MFA at Iowa, the most prestigious writer's training camp in the US. In many ways this reads like well-crafted fan fiction and seems to be part of a general trend toward the excess that occurs in the absence of gatekeepers. (And I speak as a self-published author myself.)

So enjoy it in the spirit of fun, with enough intellectual icing on the cake to make you think you're being deep.

I can't resist recommending a novel that those who like Rabid may enjoy: Nevermore
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Beth Fehlbaum on November 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Rabid, by T.K. Kenyon, was released by Kunati, Inc. in Spring, 2007. It is an amazing book!
One word for this book: riveting. No, two words: riveting, compelling...actually, Rabid would take more words than I even know to use, and I'm a wordsmyth myself. I could not put it down.
T.K. Kenyon's Rabid is an amazing story. Masterfully woven plotlines and an absolute commitment to truth and utter refusal to play the complacency game left me feeling as if I had gone on an "explore" with the author. Kenyon has the gift of pulling the reader in to the world of her characters. She manages to make an untouchable character like Leila a sympathetic one.
I look forward to Kenyon's next novel. Can't wait.
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