JRZDVLZ, by Lee Klein, author of The Shimmering Go-Between, is the autobiography of a sympathetic monster on a centuries-spanning quest for redemption. Based on long-suffering legend and historical fact, it’s about the sacrifice, civility, endurance, and humility required to transform a monster into a man.
“Propulsive, harrowing, surprisingly humorous, and heartfelt, JRZDVLZ is a masterful re-imagining of one of America’s most beguiling—and now, thanks to Lee Klein, most memorable—myths. Literary wizardry at its very best.”
—Matthew Vollmer, author of Gateway to Paradise
“Lee Klein’s JRZDVLZ is as ingenious and compelling a composite as the Jersey Devil itself: part bildungsroman, part travelogue, part urban history, part fable, part mythopoeic romance that’s also a profound meditation on isolation and a searing document of self-invention. Benjamin Franklin would be delighted and disturbed. Imagine a shape-shifting, immortal Elephant Man stalking the pages of Ragtime and The Sot-Weed Factor and Mason & Dixon, and you’ll have an idea of what lies within this extraordinary novel.”
—Josh Emmons, author of A Moral Tale and Other Moral Tales
“The most interesting element of this novel is this central theme of how fact is buttressed by fiction (and vice versa). It forces the reader to question how (hi/)stories are made and how our words make the intangible (the imagined and the opinion and the holy) come alive. As the Devil endures through these legends, he is also trying to understand his own story, one that is not fully in his control. Several times, the Devil questions if he really exists or if he is just another horror story created by a restless, fearful crowd…. JRZDVLZ will appeal to fans of Süskind’s Perfume and Shelley’s Frankenstein.”
—Jesi Buell in Heavy Feather Review