- Paperback: 210 pages
- Published: 6/1/07
- IBSN: 9781933354293
- e-IBSN: 9781617750540
- Genre: Fiction
The first-ever US publication of the Caribbean comic classic that is also a major motion picture.
“The author never relaxes his hilarious examination of the island’s taboos . . . By far the funniest book I’ve read in a decade, although its ribald atmosphere is sprayed with the pepper-gas of aggressive social satire.”
—Washington Post Book World
“The Lunatic is a brilliantly written and outrageous Jamaican fable.”
—Sunday Gleaner (Jamaica)
“The Lunatic is odd, i.e., original, beautiful, and insane, truly unlike any other in its comedy of character and idea, landscape and language; a sensibility that jostles the senses. He pulls the rug out from under you and then helps you land.”
—Benjamin Weissman, author of Headless
Praise for Anthony C. Winkler:
“Every country (if she’s lucky) gets the Mark Twain she deserves, and Winkler is ours, bristling with savage Jamaican wit, heart-stopping compassion, and jaw-dropping humor all at once.”
—Marlon James, author of John Crow’s Devil
“Winkler is the Prozac of literature, the true feel-good factor we seek in Oprah and the likes.”
—Ken Bruen, author of The Guards
Aloysius is the village madman, tolerated by neighbors but forced to eke out a living doing odd jobs. His only company are the animals, trees, and bushes of the woodlands in which he resides, on the outskirts of a village in the hills of St. Ann, on the island of Jamaica. Aloysius is lonely. Admittedly, the animals, trees, and especially the bushes have a lot to say, and undeniably, the flame heart tree is a true friend, but Aloysius has no human friends.
Then love, or a peculiar version of it, comes to Aloysius in the form of a solidly built German tourist, Inga Schmidt. Inga encounters a sleeping Aloysius when she is traversing the countryside photographing the island’s flora and fauna. Thereafter, to the trees’ horror and the bushes’ and village’s disapproval, Aloysius’s world is turned upside down as he finds himself hurtling along in a series of crazy escapades with his newfound love. For Inga, this madman is a revelation. Lunatic or not, Aloysius is capable of satisfying Inga’s libido as frequently as she desires. But the romantic idyll is bruised when Inga invites a local butcher to join a ménage à trois, and shattered when the trio decides to burgle the house of Busha McIntosh . . .
In this outrageously out-of-order, hilarious novel, the reader discovers that madness is by no means restricted to Aloysius, and that goodness and forgiveness may be rarer qualities found in unexpected places.
ANTHONY C. WINKLER was born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1942 and is widely recognized as one of the island’s finest exports. After being expelled from Cornwall College for refusing to submit to corporal punishment (which entailed being beaten with a cane), he eventually made his way to California where he attended Citrus College and California State University, earning a BA and MA in English. His first published novel, The Painted Canoe (1984), received critical acclaim and was followed by The Lunatic (1987), The Great Yacht Race (1992), The Duppy (1997), Crocodile (2009), Dog War (2007), God Carlos (2012), and The Family Mansion, among others. Trust the Darkness: My Life as a Writer, his autobiography, was published in 2008. His writing credits also include film scripts and plays. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife Cathy.