Talking with David James Keaton about his sprawling, hard-to-describe books has become a semi-regular occurrence around these parts, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. His new novel Head Cleaner follows the staff of a video store as they find themselves on the verge of a bizarre discovery about physical media and experiencing a phenomenon that evokes time loops at their most paranoia-inducing. I chatted with Keaton about the novel’s origins, its ties to his other work, and movies that could change the world.
She Was Found in a Guitar Case, the new novel by David James Keaton, opens in a way that might seem familiar to fans of crime fiction. The novel’s protagonist learns of his wife’s death, and sets out to learn the truth about it, along with several mysterious connections she may have had. Things escalate quickly from there, with the narrative doubling back on itself and taking on a tone that’s both agreeably shaggy and increasingly paranoid. (If there’s a sweet spot between Pynchon and Portis, this book finds it.) I talked with Keaton about the novel’s genesis, how locks on bridges informed the book, and this book’s long path to publication.