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New Novel Asks: 'How Valuable Is the Cost of Ambition When It Blinds Us to the Value We Hold Within?'

American Faust

Rip Brown


This rich and playful deal-with-the-devil tale will enrapture readers with the ways relationships can harm and heal us.”
— Publishers Weekly
NEW YORK, NY, US, May 23, 2022 / -- From Faust to Damn Yankees to The Twilight Zone and beyond, making a deal with the devil has long captured the human imagination: as philosopher Soren Kierkegaard observed, every generation has its own version. For this generation’s version, author Rip Brown takes the trope to an entirely new level with his riveting literary exploration of greed and redemption in AMERICAN FAUST (Ibex Press; May 23, 2022).

The vulnerable humans tempted by “The Chairman” in this richly layered homage include Sharon, a woman who fears the loss of her beauty; Lawrence, a man who fears the loss of his libido; and James, an ambitious tech executive. As The Chairman plays puppet master with these individuals, scenes shift between protagonists and time periods, showcasing immersive and evocative period settings in which these souls gradually slide toward damnation.

No Faustian story would be complete without the tug-of-war between goodness and gluttony, and in this telling, it is James who becomes the recipient of The Chairman’s latest too-good-to-be-true offer. He finds himself in a house outside of time and responsibility and yet in which separate timelines conjoin. Can he resist the seductive tease offered by his surroundings and host? The answer is told in gorgeous literary prose, which Brown uses to weave his otherworldly tale. It will leave you thinking about the ideas explored long after the final page.

So far, the critics have raved:

“While general-interest audiences will be the likely readers of American Faust, it's especially recommended for literary students of the classic story who will find this modern take an intriguing perspective.”
—Midwest Review

“The story’s structure is complex and full of surprises. The pleasure of the book is in figuring out how the various pieces of the tale fit together.”
—Kirkus Review

“There are satisfying, unpredictable narrative leaps in the fantastical novel American Faust, in which a romance proves ill-fated.”
—Clarion Review

“American Faust is a timeless cautionary tale that poses complex questions to which there are no simple answers. It is a worthwhile read, not least because it implicitly invites readers to ask uncomfortable questions of themselves.”
—Indie Reader

American Faust is available on Amazon and all retail outlets where popular books are sold.

Rip Brown is a member of The Writer's Room, New York City’s first and most acclaimed professional writers' colony. He studied creative writing at the Harvard Extension School, led writers groups and won first prize in Digital Americana’s short fiction competition with an excerpt from his novel, American Faust. A former executive with Walmart in Mexico, Brown turned to writing serious fiction when his daughters became a manageable age. His second novel, The Goatherder’s Tale, is scheduled for release in 2023. He lives and works in New York City.

Rip Brown
Rip Brown, Author
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