Roberto Acestes Laing, the obscure film obsessive who has destroyed rare, single-print films by notorious directors because their truth was too severe … and the journalist haunted by his own demons who’s tracked him down for a three-day interview in remote Wisconsin … and the waitress in yellow who knows too much … and the doorway that leads into a photograph …and the missing children. For our over-pixelated times, a novel that throws itself on the gears of the image machine.
"Like a cross between Paul Auster’s Book of Illusions and Janice Lee’s Damnation, The Absolution of Roberto Acestes Laing is at once smart and slyly unsettling. It is expert at creating a quietly building sense of dread while claiming to do something as straightforward as describe lost films—like those conversations you have in which you realize only too late that what you are actually talking about and what you think you are talking about are not the same thing at all. With Rombes, Two Dollar Radio deftly demonstrates why it is rapidly becoming the go-to press for innovative fiction.” —Brian Evenson, author of Immobility and Last Days
"This hallucinatory and terrifying secret history of film is so meticulously researched and gorgeously written that I wonder if, in fact, Nicholas Rombes has uncovered a lost trove of works by David Lynch, Orson Welles, Antonioni and Jodorowsky somewhere in the California desert. The Absolution of Roberto Acestes Laing is post-modern noir at its best: beautiful and nightmarish by turns. I read it late into the night and couldn’t put it down.” —Elizabeth Hand, winner of The Shirley Jackson Award and author of Generation Loss and Available Dark
"Suffused with the best elements and obscure conspiracies of Bolaño, Ligotti, and speculative fiction, The Absolution of Roberto Acestes Laing gnaws away at the limits of what a novel looks like. Through the writing of films that never existed, it finds a space both eerily familiar and entirely of its own.” —Evan Calder Williams, author of Combined and Uneven Apocalypse and director of Violent X
"Rombes’s fiction, criticism, and artwork are taking on the shape of a beautifully intricate Gesamtkunstwerk.” —Andrew Gallix, BOMB Magazine
The full trailer—made in Detroit—is coming soon. Here is the teaser trailer, also made in Detroit.
The Absolution of Roberto Acestes Laing from Nicholas Rombes on Vimeo.
Interview at BOMB.
And also, below, soundscapes for several of the films recounted by Laing.
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