Grip McCormack has never stepped on an ant.
But, at seventeen, he shoots his abusive father, Amos, off the roof of their Kentucky home.
The murder trial dominates the news for months and brings a torrent of notoriety to the agoraphobic young man, along with a string of female admirers. One of them is Millie—unhinged, tenacious, and eighteen years his senior.
Grip has a parole hearing coming up in three days.
Lucky for him. If only life on the outside weren’t waiting to get him—Uncle Edgar (Dad’s brother) wants to kill him, and Millie wants to marry him, and she’s already picked out their house—across the street from Uncle Edgar.
Grip’s anorexic sister, Beanie, still refuses to forgive him and flees to Illinois to escape the family shame (where she becomes a model for Simplicity Patterns).
Mom quits her job and stows away with shades drawn in the crumbling Kentucky home (where she is now sole occupant).
Still dead, and still something of a klutz. He has a difficult time mastering the ways of the afterlife, getting stuck in prison walls and crashing into metal doors while trying to pass through them. But that doesn’t stop him from attempting a reconciliation with his son. Without it, both know that true freedom will never come.
Praise for THROUGH THE ANT FARM:
“Robert Leland Taylor is endlessly inventive in his observations of the human condition. He populates his universe with characters who are both world-weary and naive at the same time. Hilarious and heartbreaking. Every word rings true. More, please.” —Gatlin Reed, author of Shelter in Place.
“A unique voice propels the narrative of Taylor’s Through the Ant Farm. Grip is an abused kid with a high IQ, knows he’s weird but doesn’t know why. This novel is filled with great one-liners, dry observations and sets the stage for a hilarious and memorable tale.” —Richard Hine, author of Russell Wiley is out to Lunch.
“Heart-breakingly funny. This is one of those novels where I find myself sorry for the agents and publishers, and ultimately, the readers—who are missing out on stories and characters such as Robert Leland Taylor can write.” —Gae Polisner, author of The Summer of Letting Go.