"Rapp remains a true man of the theater and a potent writer."—Time Out

"To watch The Hallway Trilogy by Adam Rapp is to enter an alternate universe . . . a carnival of the desperate, the grotesque, the outrageous."—The New York Times

"I knew in a single sentence that Adam was a writer the world was going to listen to for as long as he felt like writing. . . . Adam writes like nobody else, his fierce poetic power as inescapable as the doom that waits for his characters. The work is bleak and true, his touch that of a master in the making."—Marsha Norman

Multi-talented artist and provocateur Adam Rapp shocks and disturbs, weaving themes of love, suffering, and redemption throughout this alarming yet heartening critical examination of societal change. Spanning one hundred years in one Lower East Side tenement hallway, this series of connected plays—Rose, Paraffin, and Nursing—is a dark and compelling exploration of what binds people together and drives them apart. Packed with searing dialogue and harrowing narratives, The Hallway Trilogy "bristles with humor" and "contains some of Rapp's most sensitive and mature writing" (The New York Times).

Adam Rapp is a novelist, filmmaker, and an OBIE Award–winning playwright and director. His plays include the Pulitzer Prize finalist Red Light Winter, Nocturne, Stone Cold Dead Serious, Finer Noble Gases, Essential Self-Defense, and more. He is the author of many young adult novels such as Punkzilla, The Buffalo Tree, and Under the Dog, and the writer and director of the film Winter Passing, starring Zooey Deschanel, Will Ferrell, and Ed Harris.


From a Pulitzer Prize finalist comes a hilarious and heartbreaking novel about a musician climbing back from rock bottom.


As winter deepens in snowbound Pollard, Illinois, thirty-something Francis Falbo is holed up in his attic apartment, recovering from a series of traumas: his mother's death, his beloved wife's desertion, and his once-ascendant rock band's irreconcilable break-up. Francis hasn't shaved in months, hasn't so much as changed out of his bathrobe-"the uniform of a Life in Default"-for nine days.

Other than the agoraphobia that continues to hold him hostage, all he has left is his childhood home, whose remaining rooms he rents to a cast of eccentric tenants, including a pair of former circus performers whose daughter has gone missing. The tight-knit community has already survived a blizzard, but there is more danger in store for the citizens of Pollard before summer arrives. Francis is himself caught up in these troubles as he becomes increasingly entangled in the affairs of others, with results that are by turns disastrous, hysterical, and ultimately healing.

Fusing consummate wit with the seriousness attending an adulthood gone awry, Rapp has written an uproarious and affecting novel about what we do and where we go when our lives have crumbled around us. Sharp-edged but tenderhearted, Know Your Beholder introduces us to one of the most lovably flawed characters in recent fiction, a man at last able to collect the jagged pieces of his dreams and begin anew, in both life and love. Seldom have our foibles and our efforts to persevere in spite of them been laid bare with such heart and hope.
From a Pulitzer Prize finalist comes a hilarious and heartbreaking novel about a musician climbing back from rock bottom.
As winter deepens in snowbound Pollard, Illinois, thirty-something Francis Falbo is holed up in his attic apartment, recovering from a series of traumas: his mother's death, his beloved wife's desertion, and his once-ascendant rock band's irreconcilable break-up. Francis hasn't shaved in months, hasn't so much as changed out of his bathrobe-"the uniform of a Life in Default"-for nine days. Other than the agoraphobia that continues to hold him hostage, all he has left is his childhood home, whose remaining rooms he rents to a cast of eccentric tenants, including a pair of former circus performers whose daughter has gone missing. The tight-knit community has already survived a blizzard, but there is more danger in store for the citizens of Pollard before summer arrives. Francis is himself caught up in these troubles as he becomes increasingly entangled in the affairs of others, with results that are by turns disastrous, hysterical, and ultimately healing. Fusing consummate wit with the seriousness attending an adulthood gone awry, Rapp has written an uproarious and affecting novel about what we do and where we go when our lives have crumbled around us. Sharp-edged but tenderhearted, Know Your Beholder introduces us to one of the most lovably flawed characters in recent fiction, a man at last able to collect the jagged pieces of his dreams and begin anew, in both life and love. Seldom have our foibles and our efforts to persevere in spite of them been laid bare with such heart and hope.
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