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Epiphany Jones

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3.95  ·  Rating details ·  111 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Jerry has a traumatic past that leaves him subject to psychotic hallucinations and depressive episodes. When he stands accused of stealing a priceless Van Gogh painting, he goes underground, where he develops an unwilling relationship with a woman who believes that the voices she hears are from God. Involuntarily entangled in the illicit world of sex-trafficking among the ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published August 1st 2016 by Orenda Books
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Average rating 3.95  · 
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Christine
May 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Epiphany Jones is one helluva book. Michael Grothaus expertly combines a dark tale of child sex trafficking in Hollywood, with a rather smashing comedy.

The book revolves around Jerry, a saddo with a porn addiction and a complicated mental health history and a mysterious woman called Epiphany. Much of the comedy comes from Jerry and his dry observations. Jerry is totally unsavoury, very laddish and bizarre. He is a fabulous character, that over the course of the book I grew to love. Epiphany is a
...more
Kate~Bibliophile Book Club
Mar 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I had no idea what to expect when I first started reading Epiphany Jones. Billed as a thriller, I was expecting the usual formulaic writing that is often the case with books these days. However, from the opening chapters, I knew I had something special in my hands.

When we meet Jerry Dresden, he is in the midst of a graphic sexual hallucination. It is a shocking intro, but it gives an insight into his fragile mind. Working in a Chicago museum, Jerry is muddling along in his life. Plagued with all
...more
Ian Patrick
May 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher for an unbiased review.

I read many books on varied subject areas but I hesitated at starting this one due to the subject matter explored, namely sex trafficking. For the record, I have investigated crimes against children and didn't know how I'd feel about the subject being written into a novel.

Where do I begin? This book is incredible. Grothaus managed to hit every emotion in me that, as a reader and writer, left me in awe. This book not only
...more
Sarah
Mar 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Epiphany Jones is the authors debut novel and what he has created with this novel is really quite mind blowing.

We start off meeting Jerry who suffers with psychotic hallucinations and depressive episodes. He is certainly a character that grabs the readers attention. As well as having hallucinations, he has a highly over active imagination and to be honest I didn’t really know what was real and what wasn’t sometimes. He is also quite hung up on sex and it is something he thinks about a lot. And I
...more
Emma
May 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Oh. My. Gosh! I have never read a book quite like Epiphany Jones before. From the moment I read the blurb I HAD to read this book. And look at that cover!! Absolutely stunning. This is a brand new reading experience so I suggest you do everything you can to get hold of a copy. Did I mention that I have NEVER read a book like this one before…??

Jerry suffers from figments, imaginary people who pop into and out of his life at the most inopportune moments. This is due to his traumatic past; his
...more
Paul
Jun 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime-thrillers
Epiphany Jones – A Highly Original Debut

It would be easy to call Epiphany Jones a stunning debut but it is better than that, it is jaw droppingly brilliant, highly original, thrilling and funny. How do you turn pornography, sex trafficking, Hollywood with a splash of comedy in to an exciting and inventive thriller? It should not work, but it does and that is down to the writing of Michael Grothaus proving that he is a talent that needs to be watched, as he will only get better.

This psychological
...more
BookwormDH
Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Jerry has a traumatic past that leaves him subject to psychotic hallucinations and depressive episodes. When he stands accused of stealing a priceless Van Gogh painting, he goes underground, where he develops an unwilling relationship with a woman who believes that the voices she hears are from God. Involuntarily entangled in the illicit world of sex-trafficking amongst the Hollywood elite, and on a mission to find redemption for a haunting series of events from the past, Jerry is thrust into a ...more
Anni
Oct 23, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a timely, harrowing and graphic account of the sordid side of Hollywood celebrity culture, including sex-trafficking, child prostitution and pornography. The unreliable narrator is on the run as the prime suspect in a violent crime and is suffering from psychotic hallucinations. Though there is plenty of dark humour to lighten the mood, the reader should be prepared for a severe assault on their sensibilities.

Reviewed for Whichbook.net
Tripfiction
Thriller: from Chicago to Mexico to Portugal to France...

This review first appeared on our blog where we also talk to the author about trafficking, writing and Cannes and more... http://www.tripfiction.com/novel-set-...

A venal, yet at time darkly humorous novel that plumbs the visceral recesses of human life. Jerry Dresden is a child of the early 80s, who has been severely bullied at school. At the age of 10 his little sister is diagnosed with leukaemia and passes away just as he is emerging
...more
Shelli
From the descriptive blurb of Epiphany Jones, I was really unsure of what to expect. Was this going to be a dark comedy? Bizarro fiction? A serious indictment of Hollywood's seedy pedophiliac underbelly? A stark look at international sex trafficking? Was it going to be a mystery, or a thriller? And didn't I detect a hint of magical realism?

The answer to all these questions… is "yes".

The book starts off running right from the first page, and doesn't let up for the next 365 pages, which is,
...more
Jackie Law
Jun 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Epiphany Jones, by Michael Grothaus, is a book that took me so far beyond my comfort zone that I was tempted to set it aside. The challenging subject matter – child sex trafficking, pornography, and man’s ability to look the other way – left me feeling depressed and disturbed, not least because I am aware that these things happen in real life. And little is done to clamp down on the sex trade when the wealthy, the powerful, and the famous are involved. It is easier to look the other way and get ...more
Raven
May 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Entering the surreal and dark world of Epiphany Jones is very much akin to being thrown out of an aeroplane and spiralling into a freefall with the initial euphoric feeling that, yes there is a rip cord, but then being stricken by the fear that this rip cord may well malfunction. From the outset you will be repulsed, gripped, endlessly unsettled, and yet strangely moved, as you become more deeply enmeshed in the scatological and disturbing world of a certain Mr Jerry Dresden…

I will confess that
...more
Anne
Aug 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Epiphany Jones by Michael Grothaus was published in paperback by Orenda Books on 30 June 2016 and is the author's debut novel.


Michael Grothaus is a daring author. Epiphany Jones is a dark, disturbing story that dances with the most sordid and sleazy of subjects and people, yet it is also quite beautiful and compassionate and incredibly funny.

The reader meets Jerry in quite alarming circumstances, some people will be shocked, but many, like me, will be intrigued, and Jerry certainly is an
...more
Jena
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
“In Hollywood it’s not what you create that matters, it’s the image you portray.”

Before I start this review, I need to warn readers that this book has almost all the trigger warnings a book could have. It is dark, brutally so, and deals with very real but very horrifying issues like child sex trafficking, rape, abuse, and mental illness. These scenes, while not overly graphic in nature, are very realistic and chilling.

This review may also contain minor spoilers. I will avoid them as much as
...more
Thelastwordreview
Jun 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The opening line of the book is “Tonight I am having sex with Audrey Hepburn.” I have to admit that I have been struggling for a few weeks trying to write a review for Michael Grothaus’s debut novel Epiphany Jones that will do the book justice not because I did not enjoy reading this but really quite the opposite. It is one of the most incredible books I have read. The difficulty is what the story is about and the content. This book will take you to some of the darkest places in your head than ...more
K.E. Coles
Sep 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary
Wow! First book I've ever read in one sitting. The subject matter is about as far out of my comfort zone as it's possible to get, but I couldn't stop reading. The main character takes the term 'unreliable narrator' to a whole new level. I was often unsure whether events and people were real or in his imagination. That he has been damaged by traumatic events is obvious almost from the outset, but as the truth comes out, little by little, it just gets more and more horrifying. It makes for a ...more
Jen
Dec 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Jerry Dresden – loser, loner and internet porn addict. Deeply affected by the death of his sister and subsequent loss of his father, Jerry has little to nothing going for him, his only comfort coming from entertaining himself with fake celebrity porn and taking his little yellow pills. Only he hasn’t been so good at taking his pills of late and has been having some really tortured dreams of a young woman running in fear of her life. And his hallucinations are back, the ones his pills are meant ...more
Gordon Mcghie
Jun 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
From page one, I knew I was going to love this book. What I hadn’t realised at that early point was just how much!

Meet Jerry. He has had a rough old time of it whilst growing up. He sees imaginary people (his ‘figments’), he is depressive, dangerously addicted to celebrity internet porn (fake) and may have stolen a Van Gogh painting from work (but he isn’t sure). Jerry’s life is about to change in ways that he could never possibly have imagined and it is all down to a girl called Epiphany Jones
...more
Tony
May 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"Tonight I'm having sex with Audrey Hepburn. Audrey’s breasts are different from the last time we fucked; they’re bigger, not as a firm. There’s a hint of a stretch mark on the left one. The leading lady is bent over, gripping the bedpost.”

….and so begins one of the most impressive and original books I've read to date. Michael Grothaus’ Epiphany Jones is a blisteringly sharp and biting novel that will drop jaws with every revelation.

A précis from the jacket / pr:

Jerry has a traumatic past that
...more
Anne Goodwin
If the plot seems to creak ever so slightly in places, it’s just the sound of another piece of the jigsaw being transferred to a more intriguing place. In the end, everything fits: character, back story, setting and incidentals building an outstanding debut novel.
Full review
Two novels about young men forced to face the real world http://annegoodwin.weebly.com/1/post/...
Karen Cole
Jul 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Epiphany Jones is not an easy book to read. This isn't a criticism but the subject matter means there's dark then there's Epiphany Jones dark. So it was a book that took me a while to read, every so often I had to leave it for a bit to process my thoughts. The main protagonists in the book, Jerry and the eponymous Epiphany aren't straightforward characters, they are multifaceted, frequently unsympathetic and hard to like. Jerry has a serious porn addiction, the story is told through his voice ...more
Nelly
May 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
That was quite an extraordinary read, harsh and I suspect true to life in places. Highlights just how truly awful some people can be given the chance.

Highly imaginatively written and I would recommend for fans of the not your average thriller variety.

Huge thanks to Orenda Books for my ARC.
Kev
Apr 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a great novel. Brilliantly written. Uncomfortable to read at times, as it should be. funny in parts, sad in others. I can't speak highly enough of this book. There were a few unresolved issues at the end, but overall, this is a brilliant piece of work.
David Harris
May 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
At the heart of this book is a quest for redemption and atonement. It also confronts head on a real sense of darkness in our culture. There is no denying though that it is a tough book. I don't normally attach trigger warnings in reviews but for this book, I should say that there are themes of sexual abuse and violence.

There's intermittent controversy amongst readers and online reviewers about "likeable characters" in books. One sees, for example, reviews on Amazon where books are downvoted
...more
Mary Picken
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Some books just grab you from the beginning and Epiphany Jones is just such a book. This is proper revenge tragedy, with guts, death, blood, pornography and downright sadism.

Jerry is a sad man. His sister died at a young age, and his father was killed in a car accident in which he was a passenger. Jerry’s sense of guilt leads him to hide away in the dark watching porn and having conversations with people who are not there; figments of his porn addled brain.

He is the archetypal anti-hero, living
...more
Rob Kitchin
May 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Epiphany Jones is a rollercoaster of a read as its two principle characters, Jerry Dresden and Epiphany Jones take a long-distance journey, trying to track down the latter’s daughter, leaving in their wake a trail of violence. Both Jerry and Epiphany are mentally damaged. While Jerry has suffered a couple of traumatic events and sees and has relationships with imaginary people, Epiphany has lived through the hell of sex trafficking and talks to God’s Angels. Grothaus immerses the reader in their ...more
Timea
Jun 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
This novel makes us face the hard reality of modern day slavery; the cruel, gruesome world of child sex trafficking is an eye-opener and an uncomfortable topic to discuss or write about. Girls are groomed to be sold for pleasure and Michael Grothaus does a brilliant job introducing us to the dark, ugly side of celebrity life. He does it not only with very graphic descriptions and explicit language but also with some humour to lighten the mood at places.
Forced into this repulsive, abusive world
...more
Maggie Kiely
Mar 26, 2017 rated it did not like it
I know this had had seriously good reviews and so I am totally in the minority here but I did not enjoy or like it and kept going hoping I would enjoy it more but alas no...
The plot in my opinion was part drama and part thriller. Humour was used where I thought "I am supposed to laugh now" but didn't. I guess it is in part 'dark' comedy but one would have to like the shade of 'dark' portrayed which I did not.
The book is extremely explicit with sex acts throughout. To describe them as seriously
...more
Laura Jayne
Jun 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-reads
Wow this was quite the debut....thrilling, complex and incredibly dark! Jerry, the main protaganist, has lived, so far, quite the traumatic life and now suffers from seeing figuments...most of which feature his dead sister Emma. When a robbery happens at the gallery he works at things soon go from bad to craptastic! Enter Epiphany Jones...another hallucination or Jerry's saviour...well with all the twists and turns in this novel it ain't always that easy a distinction to make!
The character
...more
Kathy
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Disclaimer: I won this book on Goodreads.

This was a good story. I would not go so far as to say I liked it only because I have no intention of re-reading any part of it again. The plot was mostly drama and thriller. There were some instances of humor, but I would never describe it as "outrageously funny" or a "dark comedy" (both from the back cover).

Warning: The book contains much swearing and multiple sex acts. It also has multiple occurrences of illegal and extremely immoral acts. The
...more
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Great review by Live Many Lives 1 4 May 14, 2016 07:38AM  

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Novelist and journalist Michael Grothaus was born in Saint Louis, Missouri in 1977. He spent his twenties in Chicago where he earned his degree in filmmaking from Columbia and got his start in journalism writing for Screen. After working for institutions including The Art Institute of Chicago, Twentieth Century Fox, and Apple he moved to the United Kingdom where he earned his postgraduate degree ...more
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