"Writing is a hard way to make a living but a good way to make a life." -Doris Betts
The Flamer by Ben Rogers
Releases February 15, 2012.
Press kit here. Pre-Orders available below and on the Publications & Store page.
Ben Rogers lives in Reno, Nevada with his wife and two daughters. He is a past recipient of a Nevada Arts Council Fellowship and two Sierra Arts Foundation Literary Artist Endowment Grants for his fiction. He studied mechanical engineering and journalism in college and has since worked as an analyst at a business accelerator, a reporter at newspapers, and a research scientist at various labs, including Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Since 2004 he has been Principal Engineer at Nevada Nanotech Systems. He is also the lead author of Nanotechnology: Understanding Small Systems (CRC Press), a first-of-its kind, comprehensive textbook on nanotechnology. His writing can be found at readrogers.com.
About the Novel:
The Flamer is a novel that chronicles the boyhood of a closet pyromaniac. While all boys tinker with fire, Oby Brooks holes up in the backyard shed to experiment with napalm recipes. He has a hand in burning down his own house—twice. And he can’t help it: his very DNA seems made of TNT. Meanwhile, between detonations, Oby’s sexuality is being tested and defined. Parents, mountain men, chemistry teachers, neighbors, and arson inspectors all try in their own quirky ways to usher Oby into adulthood with his fingers and eyelashes intact. In the end, the question is whether Oby’s nature will be nurtured, or neutered. Oh, and, will he land a Nobel Prize?
Press kit here.
Barnes & Noble
The Nevada Review
High Country News
On Fiction Writing
Columbia College Chicago: The Review Lab
Advance Praise for The Flamer :
In his debut novel, Ben Rogers tells the coming of age story of 13-year-old preppy pyromaniac Oby Brooks, who lives in a quiet, middle class neighborhood of Reno, Nevada. [...] Oby's interactions with Teri, whose life is fraught with real drama and emotion, add a level of poignancy... "It wasn't that I wanted to kill anybody, or that I was blind to human suffering. I was suffering. I was thirteen.
– Publishers Weekly
The Flamer is a diabolically funny, explosively tender portrait of youth, a mad scientist’s coming-of-age story. Brainy and splendidly profane, Ben Rogers’s writing is incendiary and hypnotic. We watch with an arsonist’s glee as his boy genius lights the fuse of his own volatile adolescence. A sizzling debut.
– Claire Vaye Watkins, author of Battleborn
One of the wisest, funniest, strangest novels I’ve ever read, narrated by one of the most unique characters I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in American fiction. I treasure this book.
–Christopher Coake, author of We’re in Trouble and You Came Back
Like Harper Lee and Mark Twain, Ben Rogers has tapped into regional America to scribe a coming-of-age story that is universal in its truths. The Flamer debuts a fine new writer who understands his craft…but even better a writer who understands human nature.
–H. Lee Barnes, member of Nevada Writers Hall of Fame, author of When We Walked Above the Clouds
Rogers gives us a precocious young man with fiery tastes and curious charm. Oby’s captivating journey, from part-time delinquent to self-actualized man, leads us through chemical compounds, atom bombs, desert quarries, and the tricky wilderness of longing.
–Don Waters, critic and author of Desert Gothic
Rogers gets the coming-of-age novel right.
–The Nevada Review