Four days before the 2016 Presidential Election, disgraced teacher Scott Bonneville foils a mass shooting at the Pizza Galley Family Fun Center by shooting the would-be perpetrator. He is hailed as a hero, but what the public doesn’t know is that Bonneville walked into Pizza Galley with violent intentions of his own, nurtured by urban myths, conspiracy theories, and deep-seated delusions. Meanwhile, his former student Blake Mesman, inspired by Catcher in the Rye and a not-so-secret brotherhood of aspiring alpha males, reshapes himself into the man he always felt he should be and embarks on his own journey of destruction.
A black-hearted satire of our new reality, Hashtag Good Guy With a Gun tells a story of the real carnage of Trump’s America: guns, the toxic radicalization of young men, fake news, the endless anger and resentment we feel towards one another, spirits broken by a world we refuse to acknowledge as of our own making, and how we convince ourselves of horrible absurdities, rather than face something even more disturbing: our own essential truth.
“A boots-on-the-ground dispatch from the suburban wastelands of Incel-vania (population: you), all told in the shadow of the Korean grim reaper. James Ellroy said noir is the genre of male self-pity, but there’s nothing to pity here in Chon’s smart, cogent, and morbidly comedic exploration of men’s breaking points. Ambitious, gripping, and snickeringly quotable.”
—Violet LeVoit, author of Scarstruck
“Hashtag Good Guy with a Gun is one of the boldest, smartest, and weirdest books I’ve read in years. I haven’t seen anyone, anywhere, write so expertly, clearly, and empathetically about the ways online culture is wrecking young men. Jeff Chon pulls off a remarkable feat in this novel, tackling dark and frightening subject matter in a way that never feels overbearing or preachy. Plus, it’s funny.”
—Tom McAllister, author of How to Be Safe
“Hashtag Good Guy with a Gun is a rhizomatic literary thriller with bursts of Robert Anton Wilson’s cosmic comedy and sparks of Conrad’s darkness. Chon’s carefully crafted characters are the purple-hearted veterans of the culture wars, the feral philosophers and cagey sages of a post-truth #world. This is a nervy novel that will simultaneously frighten and delight.”
—Ryan Ridge, author of New Bad News
“Jeff Chon’s wide-ranging debut takes us deep down the rabbit hole. Chon’s web of characters seek meaning in the everyday as the chaos of our media-saturated world swirls around them. Hashtag Good Guy with a Gun bursts with humor, feeling, and timely commentary. Chon is an author you’ll want to follow.”
—Ravi Mangla, author of Understudies