Ricky Rice is a middle-aged hustler with a lingering junk habit, a bum knee, and a haunted mind. The sole survivor of a suicide cult, he spends his days scraping by as a porter at a bus depot in Utica, New York. Until one day a letter arrives, reminding him of a vow he once made and summoning him to Vermont's remote Northeast Kingdom to fulfill it.
There, Ricky is inducted into a band of paranormal investigators comprised of former addicts and petty criminals, all of whom have at some point in their wasted lives heard the Voice: a murmur on the wind, a disembodied shout, a whisper in an empty room. All these may or may not have been messages from God. Their mission is to find the Voice -- and figure out what it wants.
Big Machine takes us from Ricky's childhood in a matrilineal cult housed in a New York City tenement to his near-death experience in the basement of an Iowa house owned by a man named Murder. And to his final confrontation with an army of true believers -- and with his own past.
Infused with the wonder of a disquieting dream and laced with Victor LaValle's fiendish comic sensibility, Big Machine is a mind-rattling mystery about doubt, faith, and the monsters we carry within us.
Big Machine named:
American Book Award 2010
Shirley Jackson Award 2009 - Winner - Best Novel
10 Best Books of 2009 -- Publisher's Weekly
Favorite Fiction of 2009 -- Chicago Tribune
Best Science Fiction of 2009 -- Los Angeles Times
Best Science Fiction & Fantasy -- Washington Post
Most Valuable Fiction Book of 2009 -- The Nation
Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence 2010 Winner