Saint John of the Five Boroughs by Edward Falco

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When 22-year-old Avery Walker, a senior at Penn State, meets Grant Danko, a 37-year-old performance artist from Brooklyn whose stage name is Saint John of the Five Boroughs, her life changes radically as she leaves college to live with Grant in Brooklyn and pursue a life as an artist. Worried about Avery, her mother, Kate, and her aunt, Lindsey, and Lindsey’s husband, Hank, travel to Brooklyn, where they all face a crisis of their own and make life-altering choices.

Grant is an angry guy with a curiously attractive personality and a coterie of bright, artistic friends. He’s used his good looks and his accomplishments, and the accomplishments of those friends, to get by while he works hauling stolen goods for his gangster uncle. He carries dark secrets that have caused his life to go off the rails. Grant is about as lost as a man can get, adept at making wrong choices. But when he finally faces his explosive moment of truth, something extraordinary happens.

Saint John of the Five Boroughs is beautifully turned—a stunning and layered novel about the effects of violence, both personal and cultural, on its characters’ lives. It’s about the way violence twists character, but also about the possibilities for redemption and change, for achieving a kind of personal grace. Edward Falco once again proves to be a master of urgency and suspense, of events careening out of control, as he brilliantly explores why we make the choices we make—both the ones that threaten to destroy our lives, and those choices that might save us.

About Edward Falco

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Edward Falco grew up in Brooklyn and teaches at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, where he is director of the MFA program in creative writing. He is the prize-winning author of several books including his new and selected stories, SABBATH NIGHT IN THE CHURCH OF THE PIRANHA and, most recently, the highly acclaimed novel WOLF POINT.
Published November 28, 2009 by Unbridled Books. 431 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Saint John of the Five Boroughs

BC Books

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A “transformed” Avery opens herself up to new sensations and experiences, subsequently in part after giving sway to her captivation with the city: "After growing up in a place as homogenous as Salem, this was fascinating to her – all the languages, all the dialects, the varieties of clothes and ...

Oct 28 2009 | Read Full Review of Saint John of the Five Boroughs

BC Books

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So cue the coterie and family, the members of which kick into high gear of concern and wariness – or encouragement — as Avery quits college to hightail it to New York City to pursue life as an artist, and Grant’s long-worried friends ultimately come to believe that Avery may be the best thing to ...

Oct 28 2009 | Read Full Review of Saint John of the Five Boroughs


Edward Falco digs a hole for himself in the opening section of his new novel, Saint John of the Five Boroughs.

Dec 07 2009 | Read Full Review of Saint John of the Five Boroughs

The Roanoke Times

Yet Falco can be compared to those authors — and Jonathan Franzen — in that Falco provides an accurate and readable record of life in his time.

Jan 24 2010 | Read Full Review of Saint John of the Five Boroughs

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