The year is 1953. Disgraced in the psychiatric hospital where he’d practiced for nearly thirty years, Dr. Walter Freeman has taken to traversing the country and proselyting about a very new kind of salvation: the transorbitol lobotomy.
With an ice pick and a hammer, Freeman promises to cure depression and catatonia, delusions and psychosis, with a procedure as simple and safe as curing a toothache.
When he enters the backwater Oklahoma town of Burnwood, however, his own sanity will be tested. Around him swirls a degenerate and delusional cast of characters—a preacher who believes his son to be the Messiah, a demented and violent young prostitute, and a trio of machete-wielding brothers—all weaved into a grotesque narrative that reveals how blind faith in anything can lead to destruction.
“A twisted tour through the asylum that Jon Bassoff calls his mind. The Incurables is filled with the mad and desperate, but ultimately it’s the humanity that Bassoff finds in his broken characters that sets this novel apart. Don’t get me wrong though, The Incurables is certifiably insane—and I mean that in the best possible way.”
—Johnny Shaw, Anthony Award-winning author of Big Maria
“Jon Bassoff’s The Incurables practically bleeds off the page with a dark poetry so intense, that you can still feel it after your eyes are closed. It’s the rarest type of novel that won’t only sink its teeth into you, it will leave you relishing the scar.”
—Todd Robinson, author of The Hard Bounce
“With influences and homage as wide and varied as The Alcoholics, Cuckoo’s Nest, and “Murder in the Red Barn,” The Incurables oddly and most affectionately invokes Nick Cave—but not Cave the singer, Cave the novelist—with its backwoods preachers, hellbent harlots, and dead-eyed dreamers. Think And the Ass Saw the Angel, only superiorly written, carved by prose that cuts deep. Bassoff’s crooked trip to hell is a powerful rumination on the beauty of the damned.”
—Joe Clifford, author of Junkie Love and Lamentation
“The Incurables reads like an unhinged murder ballad. In it, Bassoff’s crafted a violent—and oddly affecting—ode to the outcasts, the downtrodden, the broken, the grotesque, and the misunderstood.”
—Chris Holm, author of The Big Reap
“The Incurables is terse, sparse and brutal, yet strangely touching at times. Another winner from the Bassoff pen.”
—William Meikle, author of The Hole
“Imagine One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest as re-written by Elmore Leonard. A mesmerizing novel.”
—Ken Bruen, Shamus Award-winning author of The Guards