Talking God's Radio Show
"In High's Southern gothic, Jesse Rivers, half African-American and half white, looks back over a lifetime struggle that has put him in numerous psych wards, and tells about his crucial 15th year, in 1965, when his life seemed to crack open. After his mother dies, and his best friend, Charlie Monroe, is killed by the cops, Jesse and his retarded sister, Amy, end up in "Camp Jesus," run by "Mama" Evangeline. Jesse escapes after Amy commits suicide and "Mama" tries to make him an evangelical radio announcer. In the sleazy Shakhoe district of Richmond, Va., Jesse hooks up with a fellow Camp Jesus escapee, Tyrone Christopher, to form a dance team that performs at a strip joint owned by a transvestite mob boss. Lee, Tyrone's lover, lurks in the background: murder is in the air, as is betrayal.... High imparts a strong sense of the price Jesse pays for psychic survival."
“The red-light district of Richmond, Virginia in the mid-sixties is the backdrop and High is the ultimate time traveler-recreating the arcane of a world that seems long gone but is actually steeped in present day time. The book is airtight and explosive and belongs on the same shelf as James Ellroy's My Dark Places and Leslie Silko's Ceremony.”
“Soaked in night visions and pierced through by jagged memory, John High's work tells that peculiarly American story in which, as Faulkner once said, 'The past isn't forgotten, it isn't even the past.’ John High's Virginia backwaters call to mind the feral, hallucinogenic American landscapes of Cormac McCarthy's Child of God, as well as Faulkner's