Ricky Rice is a middling hustler with a lingering junk habit, a bum knee, and a haunted mind. A survivor of a suicide cult, he scrapes by as a porter at a bus depot in Utica, New York, until one day a mysterious letter arrives, summoning him to enlist in a band of paranormal investigators comprised of former addicts and petty criminals, all of whom had at some point in their wasted lives heard what may have been the voice of God.
Infused with the wonder of a disquieting dream and laced with Victor LaValle’s fiendish comic sensibility, Big Machine is a mind-rattling mystery about doubt, faith, and the monsters we carry within us.
…spectacular…Along with Junot Diaz, Lev Grossman, Kelly Link and Kevin Brockmeier, LaValle is part of an increasingly high-profile and important cohort of writers who reinvent outmoded literary conventions, particularly the ghettos of genre and ethnicity that long divided serious literature from popular fiction…Despite its steady pulse of dark humor, its supernatural Voice and the presence of some creepy entities known as the Devils of the Marsh, Big Machine is a novel about faith and the ways in which religion can create monsters far more terrifying than anything dreamed up by H.P. Lovecraft.