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Gary Oldman Is a Building You Must Walk Through

What Books Press, 2017 (Available @
Unemployed, aimless, stuck in a mundane relationship with a burned-out social worker, an anonymous writer (of some sort) awaits the phone call that he believes will change their fortunes: his being hired to script a television commercial featuring renowned actor Gary Oldman. In preparation for the momentous day, his various obsessions connected to Oldman's cinematic career hold forth, including the return of his girlfriend's marginally "famous" sister from a Los Angeles psychiatric ward and her ensuing disappearance, as well as his questionable attraction to them both. But once the quasi-narrative of assorted characters he creates for her consolation over the lost sister begins, the only story to prevail may be an inescapable echo chamber of Oldman's dialogic influence into which everything and everyone must fall.

"Gary Oldman Is a Building You Must Walk Through is a gloriously entrancing 'elaboration,' an obsession in prose. One wonders at Gary Oldman, containing multitudes: Wittgenstein's Nephew comes to mind, though so do Notable American Women, The Making of Americans, I Looked Alive. 'This is something which the I hasn't been trained for,' we're told. Indeed." -- Gabriel Blackwell, author of Madeleine E.

"A tessellation of spinning faces—some legendary, some just neurotic—Forrest Roth’s Gary Oldman Is a Building You Must Walk Through is a playful pattern, masterfully tailored, as though for a famous actress, a red carpet star. Perhaps without blushing, perhaps she signs her autograph." -- Lily Hoang, author of A Bestiary

"Like an exploded villanelle, or Oulipo with invisible constraints, this darkly playful Beckettian monologue maps a syntactically circuitous route to the meaning of fame, violence, interiority, and language itself. It's smart, it's mysterious, and it's damn funny." -- Shya Scanlon, author of The Guild of Saint Cooper