Bats of the Republic by Zachary Thomas Dodson
An Illuminated Novel

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Dodson has produced an unwieldy creature that is generally more fun than tiresome and impressive for the creativity and control he displays with his many disparate elements, if not for the wobbly coherence of the whole.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

"Archetypes of the cowboy story, tropes drawn from sci-fi, love letters, diaries, confessions all abound in this relentlessly engaging tale. Dodson has quite brilliantly exposed the gears and cogs whirring in the novelist’s imagination. It is a mad and beautiful thing.”
--Keith Donohue, The Washington Post

Winner of Best of Region for the Southwest in PRINT’s 2016 Regional Design Awards

Bats of the Republic is an illuminated novel of adventure, featuring hand-drawn maps and natural history illustrations, subversive pamphlets and science-fictional diagrams, and even a nineteenth-century novel-within-a-novel—an intrigue wrapped in innovative design.

     In 1843, fragile naturalist Zadock Thomas must leave his beloved in Chicago to deliver a secret letter to an infamous general on the front lines of the war over Texas. The fate of the volatile republic, along with Zadock’s future, depends on his mission. When a cloud of bats leads him off the trail, he happens upon something impossible...
     Three hundred years later, the world has collapsed and the remnants of humanity cling to a strange society of paranoia. Zeke Thomas has inherited a sealed envelope from his grandfather, an esteemed senator. When that letter goes missing, Zeke engages a fomenting rebellion that could free him—if it doesn’t destroy his relationship, his family legacy, and the entire republic first.
     As their stories overlap and history itself begins to unravel, a war in time erupts between a lost civilization, a forgotten future, and the chaos of the wild. Bats of the Republic is a masterful novel of adventure and science fiction, of elliptical history and dystopian struggle, and, at its riveting core, of love.
 

About Zachary Thomas Dodson

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ZACHARY THOMAS DODSON founded featherproof books, a small press in Chicago dedicated to publishing daring works of designed fiction, in 2005. This is his first novel.
Author Residence: Helsinki, Finland
Author Hometown: El Paso, TX, and Chicago, Il
 
Published October 6, 2015 by Doubleday. 448 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Bats of the Republic
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Below average
on Jul 14 2015

Dodson has produced an unwieldy creature that is generally more fun than tiresome and impressive for the creativity and control he displays with his many disparate elements, if not for the wobbly coherence of the whole.

Read Full Review of Bats of the Republic: An Illu... | See more reviews from Kirkus

AV Club

Good
Reviewed by Alex McCown on Oct 05 2015

If Bats Of The Republic shoots for profound spiritual resonance, it can be forgiven for only attaining a heady aesthetic head-trip.

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Reader Rating for Bats of the Republic
70%

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