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The Last Projector

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  77 ratings  ·  20 reviews
In this hysterical fever dream of a novel, meet an unhinged paramedic turned porn director uprooted from an ever-shifting '80s fantasy. Discover a crime that circles back through time to a far-reaching cover-up in the back of an ambulance. Reveal a manic tattoo obsession and how it conspires to ruin the integrity of a film and corrupt identity itself. Unravel the mystery s ...more
Hardcover, 530 pages
Published October 31st 2014 by Broken River Books (first published September 9th 2014)
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Average rating 4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  77 ratings  ·  20 reviews

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Kyle Muntz
Jun 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An absolutely insane novel, made up of three (elaborately) nested narratives: a porn director gradually going insane because of his odd hatred of tattoos; a young-ish couple (I was never able to figure out how old they were, actually, but that's definitely a pattern with a lot of this book) who really hate police officers, and make a plan to blow one's head off with a bomb; and a much stranger, third narrative about a paramedic and a woman who nearly died while having sex in a car, which starts ...more
Benoit Lelièvre
Nov 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is going to be a polarizing novel. Some people will call it genius, others will burn crosses in front of David James Keaton's house (and I could see multiple reasons why they would do so). Point is, it'll be impossible for you to have weak feelings about THE LAST PROJECTOR.

The best way I can describe it is that it's a schizophrenic mystery. In a typical mystery, you're supposed to gather clues from the intrigue, but since David James Keaton is a mean bastard, he buried them within the very
David Keaton
Sep 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
"You’ll either love it or hate it. Although, in my experience, if something is ever described as 'love it or hate it,' it is, without fail, fucking terrible. I've studied this phrase for a decade, and so far there have been no exceptions." -The Last Projector, page 61
Salvatore Pane
Dec 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Let me sum this book up in six words: even the epilogues contain car crashes. David James Keaton's The Last Projector contains a villain who ejaculates into flytraps, a legion of doppelgangers making the world's worst art film, a rap song based on The Thing, and about a dozen fictional cars that I'd guess have their origins in the Grand Theft Auto series--a repeated reference within the novel. The Last Projector isn't really a traditional novel though. Like Dave Eggers' A Heartbreaking Work of S ...more
Dec 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bizarro
A TOP SHELF review, originally published in the January 16, 2015 edition of The Monitor

“Well, that’s proof that you’re just like that Bugs Bunny cartoon with that giant pencil just drawing shit around you as it goes, making it up on the spot.”


“When you hear a deep cut that would never be on the radio, that’s the writer up there, in the zone, cranking music in the background.”

The Last Projector (Broken River Books)is the first novel by David James Keaton, a prolific writer of short storie
Kent Gowran
Feb 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
For me, THE LAST PROJECTOR by David James Keaton is a hefty volume, not unlike the Holy Bible (King James Version). As the Bible does for some folks, THE LAST PROJECTOR speaks to me, as though it had been written for me. Unlike the Bible, you don't have to skip around to get to the good parts.

Watch John Carpenter's THE THING.


And get that man some breakfast.
Kevin L
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m not sure how to talk about this book. I’ll be honest and say up front that the whole point of this book seems to be to f*ck with the reader’s head. And it does that in spades.

I had a hate/gotta see what happens relationship throughout my read. No matter how frustrating it was I kept coming back to it. I couldn’t just put it away.

And, it really messed with my dreams which I’m taking to mean that there was a lot of processing going on as I slept.

Can I recommend this book? I honestly don’t know
Edward Rathke
May 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literary
This is maybe the wildest novel I've ever read. It's actually kind of difficult to talk about or review in any meaningful way, but I also think it's the best book to come out of indie lit maybe ever.

It's hilarious and difficult and endlessly enjoyable and readable, though you'll be squinting at the page trying to make sense of everything. It's a book riddled with popculture unstuck from time and kind of tossed across decades. It's a book where characters become unglued from their identities and
The Grim Reader
Aug 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Quite a bit has been said about this novel from David James Keaton already in the reviews here. I won't go into a whole breakdown of the story because there is too much going on. Lets start with the fact that it is a large book and a book that needs your attention. I read fast, but found myself having to slow down and absorb this one. It's ambitious, but I think Keaton pulls it off in the end...just. It's fun and out there. I'd recommend this book to anybody who shares a love of cinema, music an ...more
Booked podcast
Nov 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
Hear the entire review on our website: ...more
Jay Slayton-Joslin
Sep 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
So not sure I understood every reference or turn of this cinephile labyrinth, and people could probably ask me about elements of it and I'd get it wrong, because it's a book that needs multiple rereads, but what I did understand and takeaway from it I absolutely loved. Characters, trivia, movies, evil. So so much to love in this. Exists in my mind as a foggy mystery, only being cleared through another read and those bright lights of an ambulance. ...more
Tim Potter
May 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bizarro
The Last Projector is a hysterical and hypnotic slipstream of anachronism and anarchy. David James Keaton’s novel reads like a stream-of-consciousness scroll that bounces through time from the 1970s to the present, or even the future, though most of the story seems to be seated in some version of the American ‘80s. The characters are wild and the plot is fascinating, if at points it becomes nearly indecipherable, and the prose is razor sharp and laugh-out-loud funny.

Reluctant pornograhper Larry
Aug 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If you are going to write a 500+ page book for your debut novel, you better have more than a freaky central premise and a gift for describing escalating levels of violence waiting for the ready. You have to have a real story to tell. The Last Projector has it in spades. Even as the dizzying interwoven narratives kept me wondering if I really had any idea what was going on for the first 80% of the book, I never considered bailing. Hell, I NEEDED to know how he was going to pull it all together in ...more
Danielle Tremblay
I got this book by GoodReads giveaways in exchange for an honest review.

I don't really know what to think about this book. It made me think of things an old friend told me when he was on an acid trip. If I had wrote down all his trip stories and glued them together with psychedelic glue, it could have given this story. lolll

Sometimes, this novel (is it a novel?) made me think of J.G. Ballard's novel titled Crash, sometimes it felt like that movie in which the MCs were caught in a strange video g
What a wonderfully bizarre mind-fuck of a novel!

Review to come
Nov 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
Hear my review on my podcast: ...more
Tony McMillen
Oct 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
This review was originally published at

( )

“You’ll either love it or hate it. Although, in my experience, if something is ever described as ‘love it or hate it,’ it is, without fail, fucking terrible.”

—The Last Projector

I don’t usually like being confused this much.

Are you familiar with choogling? No? Good. Shut up, seriously, I don’t care anymore. The Last Projector is a time-choogling rabbit punch to your skull candy that never forgets to k
Jun 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is like the "cool" film nerd got a literary bug but also had to compulsively name drop every love and affectation they picked up. It's fun!

Imagine the life of Sam Sylvia's (Marc Maron from Glow) life before wrestling. This is him making his artistic horror porn movies. And a bit of "Under the Silver Lake" but more interesting.
Liam Sweeny
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It took me a longer time to read The Last Projector than it normally does to read a book. You make an investment when you read a book like this. And you wouldn't make the investment if it wasn't throwing out dividends every time you picked it back up.

The Last Projector is an intricate play on the Act structure of most fiction, where cause and effect, time and place, even character are wound up like an inbred double-helix.

You have paramedic Jack Grinstead-turned-porn filmmaker Larry-turned Jack a
Jun 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read2016
Surreal, narratively slippery crime fiction, like a temporally-loose INLAND EMPIRE with an bleakly humorous strain contained within it?
James Bodden
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David James Keaton's writing has appeared in over 75 publications, online and in print. He received his MFA from the University of Pittsburgh and was the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Flywheel Magazine. His first collection of fiction, FISH BITES COP! Stories To Bash Authorities (Comet Press), was named the 2014 Short Story Collection of the Year by This Is Horror and was also a finalist for t ...more

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