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Our Napoleon in Rags

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  65 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
From a writer called “an important new voice in fiction” by Bret Lott and a “novelist of daring creativity and passion” by Edmund White, comes Our Napoleon in Rags. It’s the story of the regulars at the Don Quixote, a bar in a decaying Midwestern city, whose lives are torn apart when their self-appointed “Napoleon,” Haycraft Keebler, bipolar son of a famous local politicia ...more
Paperback, 250 pages
Published April 1st 2005 by Ig Publishing (first published 2005)
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Kirby Gann
Apr 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: written
My second published novel, begun as a short story in the early nineties. I couldn't make it work as a story then, and didn't feel ready to tackle a project as large as a novel, and so set it aside. After another 10-12 years, having written two novel manuscripts (one that remains unpublished, the other being The Barbarian Parade), I came back to Haycraft Keebler and his cronies with a new perspective and a great idea (to me, at least) of how to do something really cool with the point-of-view tech ...more
Jun 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Kirby Gann's Our Napoleon in Rags vividly depicts the odd denizens of a down-and-out bar in a scruffy neighborhood in the fictional Kentucky city of Montreux: atheist banker-turned-pornographer Romeo Diaz, mentally unstable janitor and artist Mather Williams, aging bohemian bar owners Glenda and Beau Stiles, rogue cop Chesley Sutherland, and the protagonist, the wonderfully-drawn would-be revolutionary Haycraft Keebler. The group is together every day--or more accruately every night--though they ...more
Drew Lackovic
Mar 17, 2008 rated it it was ok
Having read Kirby's Barbarian Parade, I was really excited for another gritty tour de force kind of novel. And the premise, overall plot, and events met those expectations, however the delivery just didn't work for me. The book handled its many characters in a sort of nebulous detached manner, spinning around the central fixture, a tavern called the Don Quixote. Structurally, this is a really cool idea; and I liked how the Don Q become almost more of a character than the rest of the characters i ...more
Aug 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book based on a variety of random down and out characters centered around a bar aptly named the Don Quixote in a city closely resembling Louisville, KY. The characters are so outlandish that they become real. Excellent recommendation from an independent bookstore in Louisville. Though the message of the book is depressing, it spells out the great need for awakening in our nation.
Jan 11, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: people who liked "a confederacy of dunces," d-bags
Recommended to lauren by: school
Shelves: fiction, skool
the book was interesting enough; the characters compelling, the language rich (if almost snotty with verbosity), the story good.

but it's exactly everything that i don't want to read in a book. it has a certain amount of compassion, but absolutely no hope whatsoever. it ends with a reflection on "how little a man can really do to change his world." come on.
May 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: aмерика
A lot of this book is taken up in attempting to describe how certain places can have a soul of their own -- the bar, the Don Quixote (the symbolism here is a little heavy-handed) being the primary example. But, seriously, what soul? These characters are unique, colorful, dark, and even depressingly realistic. But there is really nothing underneath that.
Feb 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Kirby's novel is rich in texture. He's got an amazing command of the English language. He's gives a tip of the hat to Cervantes' Don Quixote, recasting his characters in modern day setting, reinventing the story and making it his own.
Feb 13, 2007 rated it really liked it
this made me wonder why i hadnt bothered with contemporary fiction lately. its just as good as any of those old classics. heavy on themes, but they all go down pretty easily in a story that flows really well, even though its vision is as staggered as some the characters'.
Mar 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Rud vets, Central Park hustlers
Shelves: noveltease
Love this book for its heartfelt and honest look at a crumbling city core. So many bits of Louisville in this story!
R.K. Cowles
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Dec 21, 2008
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Nov 08, 2013
Greg Rickert
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Jul 16, 2012
Win Dunwell
Jul 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I can visualize the people Gann writes about. I just know I know them.
Christamar Varicella
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Apr 28, 2012
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Stacey Suver
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Nov 26, 2016
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Gunnar Norskog
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Apr 27, 2013
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John Childs
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Rich Gelson
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Oct 15, 2012
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Charles White
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Dec 26, 2009
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Kirby Gann is the author of the novels Ghosting, The Barbarian Parade, and Our Napoleon in Rags. He is also co-editor (with poet Kristin Herbert) of the anthology A Fine Excess: Contemporary Literature at Play, which was a finalist for the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award (Anthologies). His work has appeared most recently in The Lumberyard and The Oxford American, among other journals. He ...more
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