by Tobias Carroll

Reel follows two lives that collide at a Seattle punk show, and the way that that chance meeting alters the paths of both. Timon serves as the western outpost of his family's business verifying the authenticity of historical objects. Hyperobservant to a fault, he spends his days and nights losing himself in deafening music and isolation. After years spent moving from one city to another, Marianne fears stagnation, and has begun to seek out methods of creative expression and avenues of escape. 

Each embarks on a series of encounters that force them to confront their own fears and anxieties. Timon is drawn into the orbit of an enigmatic client who needs his assistance analyzing a mysterious object found in the walls of a building thousands of miles away. Marianne is haunted by her own restlessness, and pushes herself to make peace with her past, even as her desire to make art threatens the life that she’s established for herself. Throughout, both are drawn towards a fundamental reckoning with the worlds that they’ve created. 

Set against a backdrop of DIY music, road trips, bad tattoos, and strange art, Reel explores questions of family, history, and identity. As both Timon and Marianne are drawn towards decisions that will reshape their worlds, they must confront the consequences of their actions to themselves and those around them.

Rare Bird Books, A Barnacle Book
Paperback, October 11, 2016: 978-1-942600-70-1
US$ 15.95 | Fiction

Reel by Tobias Carroll

Reel follows two lives that collide at a Seattle punk show, and the strange consequences that arise. Timon serves as the hyperobservant western outpost of his family's business, verifying artifacts and losing himself in deafening music and isolation. Marianne fears stagnation, and has begun to crave the rootless travel of her youth. After a tense meeting, each proceeds through a series of surreal encounters that deconstruct the lives that they've created, forcing each one into a reckoning with the world around them.

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Reel is a story about history and artifact set, like foreshadowing, against the backdrop of a fading scene. It asks: When youth ripples out like a dying soundwave, what takes its place? What delivers new thrills, and keeps us in motion? Carroll’s characters are as intelligent, observant, and sensitive as their author. Their subtle interactions bring our focus toward what so often goes unnoticed, what we don’t even know is guiding us toward our inevitable future.
Sarah Gerard, author of Binary Star and the forthcoming Sunshine State
Never cloying or pretentious, Toby Carroll’s prose is bright, knowing and honest. His characters are unique without feeling like they were crafted, but instead, simply, reported. Reel is about as real as good fiction gets.
Ryan Britt, author of Luke Skywalker Can't Read

Tobias Carroll lives and writes in Brooklyn, New York, where he is the managing editor of Vol.1 Brooklyn. His fiction and nonfiction have been published by Tin HouseMidnight BreakfastThe CollagistNecessary FictionBookforum, and Joyland. He can be found on Twitter at @TobiasCarroll.


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