Reading this was like finding an autobiography I forgot I d written. Like Venturini had access to all my secret thoughts. It was strange and wonderful, and I d pay to do it again. --Stephen Graham Jones, author of It Came from Del Rio
Fred Venturini is an awesomely talented writer, and he proves it on every page of The Samaritan. Stretching artfully from the shabbiness of life in a small Illinois town to the glitter and greed of Hollywood, this first novel about a shy, emotionally damaged loser with a bizarre but coveted ability to regenerate his vital parts is one of the most engaging and ultimately satisfying that I've had the pleasure to read in a long time. --Donald Ray Pollock, author of Knockemstiff
A can t-get-laid coming-of-age tale takes a sharp turn into sci-fi territory when the main character, Dale Sampson, discovers he has the ability to regenerate his own organs and body parts. What ensues is much chopping off of fingers and toes, an obsessive romantic attachment to his dead girlfriend s twin sister, a mercenary relationship with a twisted doctor, and, ultimately, an Extreme Makeover-style reality television show in which Sampson donates organs to people in need. Author Fred Venturini keeps his focus on character development, so that Sampson seems real and probable. The Samaritan, the first book from Blank Slate Press, gives those of us who love well-crafted offbeat literature a reason to cheer. --Margareg Brown, Shelf Unbound
From the Back Cover
Dale Sampson is a nobody. A small town geek with an ailing mother and a father who skipped town, Dale lives in the shadow of his best friend Mack, the high school baseball star. While Mack racks up one female conquest after another, Dale can't even gather the courage to talk to a girl . . . and when he finally decides to take a chance, he loses everything.
When he runs into the twin sister of the girl he loved and lost, Dale finds his calling--he will become a Samaritan. Determined to rescue her from a violent marriage and redeem himself in the process, he decides to use the only weapon he has, besides a toaster. This weapon, the inexplicable ability to regrow his limbs and organs, leads him to fame and fortune as the star of a blockbuster TV reality show. But he will soon learn that being a Samaritan can be a heartbreaking affair, especially when the one person he wants to save doesn't want saving. The Samaritan
is a brutally funny look at the dark side of human nature, laying bare the raw emotions and disappointments of small town life and best friends, of school bullies and first loves, of ruthless profiteers and self-aggrandizing promoters--and of having everything you know about human worth and frailty questioned under the harsh klieg lights of fame.
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