Samuel Taylor is not a rock star—Samuel Taylor is a writer.
Samuel Taylor is not a rock climber—Samuel Taylor is a teacher.
Samuel Taylor has lost his job, Samuel Taylor has lost his wife,
Samuel Taylor is beginning to lose his fortitude.
Samuel Taylor is beset by moral failure, by mortal failure, by the failure of his species to safeguard its survival.
Samuel Taylor must do better than to fail better, and failing that, Samuel Taylor must find in failure the means to move forward.
“Amato gives us irrepressible ruminations, flash narratives, verbal collages. At times they seem to be struggling to rise off the printed page into our simulated 3D, stereo, holograph world, but then they recoil from it with speedy wit and righteous indignation, in a weave of rhetorics designed to ward off the 21st century’s demons.”
— Anselm Hollo
Part novel, part mémoire, part inventory of everything thought and seen in the heterogeneous landscape of the daily life of “just another poor bastard who thinks his life is worth a permanent entry in the archive,” Samuel Taylor’s Last Night lists and leans, careens and lurches, swerves and accelerates through a range of rhetorical shifts of gear as its narrator-protagonist turns his psychic pockets inside out and throws all the small-change detritus and wide-ranging vibrant currency of his mind into full view.
[T]his novel’s whirling blocks of prose suggest faces glimpsed from behind a podium, or the landscape outside a spinning car, or the fast-moving crises of our time.
—John Domini, Inside Higher Ed
[T]he book’s ultimate accomplishment is, in fact, the masterful integration of the drama and overall performance of writing, on one side, and, on the other, the tragedies, comedies, and other theatricalities hardly absent from Samuel Taylor’s life.
—Christian Moraru, Los Angeles Review of Books
Joe Amato was born in Syracuse, New York, and raised in the metro area. A licensed Professional Engineer in New York State, Amato spent seven years in industry working in various project engineering capacities before returning to school to complete his doctorate in English. Amato is the author of nine books and numerous essays and reviews. Since 2003, he has taught writing and literature at Illinois State University.