Miss Entropia and the Adam Bomb
About Miss Entropia and the Adam Bomb:
No other obsession strikes as hard as the love that hits a teenaged boy — especially if he's the sort of kid who is no saner than he wants to be. From the moment Adam Webb sees Francine Haggard—in the van that is supposed to return them to the Institute Loiseaux—the two young mental patients are inextricably connected. Adam will never let this girl go.
From hiding her in his bedroom to spiriting her away to Minnesota's north woods, "Miss Entropia" becomes the focus of Adam's every thought and of everything he does. He believes her to be a goddess, his own goddess.
But the pyromaniacal Miss Entropia will be neither worshiped nor owned. And so Adam's possessiveness is destined to push her to the breaking point.
Theirs is an incendiary love story, an unbalanced Romeo and Juliet, that spins and arcs its way strangely toward tragedy.
Praise for Miss Entropia and the Adam Bomb:
"A rollicking adventure that is laugh-out-loud funny and often unexpectedly poignant… Miss Entropia and the Adam Bomb is a terrific read for adults who haven't forgotten what it's like to be a teenager, sane or not, and it oozes crossover appeal for teens and young adult readers."
"If fiction is moved forward by getting its characters into deeper and deeper trouble, then George Rabasa's latest novel is a speedy little car, following the misadventures of two lovable misfits. Threaded throughout are questions worth considering about the relative nature of balance and the necessary envelope of privacy each person needs to live."
"Rabasa's clever mix of the absurd and the tragic…maintains a playful cleverness throughout, fueled by piquant dialogue and sharply etched characters who maintain their humanity... Well-played, keenly felt."
"For all the darkness in this novel, it was a very addicting read. This book showed well how a normal person can still be strange and how a mentally ill person can be sane.… a really wonderful book."
Books and Brews.com:
"Miss Entropia and the Adam Bomb pirouettes easily between laugh-out-loud hilarity and eye-misting poignancy which fairly accurately emulates the teen age experience. Every character is eccentric and instantly memorable, and Rabasa never telegraphs the plot. It went many places - some pretty damn dark - that I never expected. Another fantastic novel from Unbridled Books."
Minneapolis Star Tribune:
"George Rabasa is a writer of literary heft with a gift for vivid, accurate description. His latest moves from zippy fiction to tale of obsession. Which is finally what Rabasa has written -- a horror story that won't let you sleep."
MPR – All Things Considered:
"Rabasa's new book, Miss Entropia and the Adam Bomb, is an off-beat love story set against the snow-packed wastes of a Minnesota winter. The novel is fast-paced and funny, but with dark undertones."
New York Journal of Books:
"Miss Entropia and the Adam Bomb may be more in keeping with contemporary comic epics like John Kennedy Toole's Confederacy of Dunces and Tristan Egolf's Lord of the Barnyard—with a splash of Kesey's Cukoo's Nest. Adam's narration has the slacker chic of an intelligent, idle teen with a lot of time to consider the foibles of others. Readers are treated to dozens of droll observations through the eyes of a troubled young man. Mr. Rabasa clearly enjoyed himself while writing this book; Adam is his imp, wreaking mischief on the world. Miss Entropia and the Adam Bomb is a very modern and clever book."
The triumph of this book is its ability to portray those empty nooks in a splintered family with sympathy and tenderness. We're drawn into Adam's melancholia, his inability to find true acceptance and love. Adam's tragedy is brought into focus by his overpowering love for Miss Entropia... Adam's tragedy is a given fact from the opening pages, but George Rabasa's artistic, first person narrative leaves us wondering and musing about teenage isolation, family dysfunction, and lost opportunities.
- Ian S. Maloney, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of English and Director of the Honors Program at St. Francis College in Brooklyn.
Excerpt from Miss Entropia and the Adam Bomb:
I didn’t know it at the time, but I was about to make the leap from quirky childhood to fully unleashed adolescence. Out on our porch stoop, waiting for the van, I’d felt the breeze of liberation for the first time in the two months I’d been home. They were coming to take me away, and I was exceedingly glad. Yes, goodbye, Mom, good-bye, Dad, good-bye, Iris, good-bye, Ted, I’m off to Institute Loiseaux. Better known as a home for the cleverly complicated. It’s not a place for everybody. The entrance requirements are rigorous. It takes more than being challenged in the conventional ways, reality-warped, emotionally stunted, mentally fevered, attention-deficient. You gotta be cute to get into Loiseaux. No bobbing heads here, no fatties, droolers, spitters, or snifflers. No predators, delinquents, bullies, tweakers, juicers, or tokers allowed, no matter how delightfully odd.
It does help if you’re an affluent exotic, a mass of psychic knots, a tangle of phobias and compulsions backed by a trust fund. Then even the suicidal and the homicidal are welcome. Hippies and goons, poets and anorexics, twitchers, Touretters, and the vaguely traumatized are all hugged close to Dr. Clara Loiseaux’s pillowy bosom, feeling the warm embrace of the maternal healer, inhaling her distinctive scent of rose petals and licorice.
I rolled down the window, and the whir of tires on the pavement brought back the sound of my trike when I was six, yes, a three-wheeler because I was not blessed with even a minimal sense of balance. After trying training wheels on a regular bike, all geared up with knee and elbow pads and a helmet to protect me in my frequent tumbles, I was given an overgrown child’s contraption with balloon tires and heavy-duty hand brakes. No matter. Rocinante, as Mother named my conveyance, flew like the wind, responding to my frantic pedaling on the uphills, then back, feet out, legs splayed like wings, caroming on the downgrades. Swaddled in heavy corduroy pants and a sweatshirt, I could feel the wind blowing on my face and hear the hum of rubber on asphalt singing in my head. In the years since, I’ve never been able to recapture that sweet momentum, the sensation of rushing so fast that a slight bump on the road would lift me and Rocinante off the ground into a frictionless surface of pure air.