Does Not Love
by James Tadd Adcox
Set in an archly comedic, alternate-reality Indianapolis that is completely overrun by Big Pharma, James Tadd Adcox's debut novel chronicles Robert and Viola's attempts to overcome loss through the miracles of modern pharmaceuticals. Their marriage crumbling after a series of miscarriages, Viola finds herself in an affair with the FBI agent who has recently appeared at her workplace, while her husband Robert becomes enmeshed in an elaborate conspiracy designed to look like a drug study.
PRAISE FOR DOES NOT LOVE:
"James Tadd Adcox is a curator of the curious and the intimate, the real and the surreal. More than anything, Adcox is a writer who knows how to make the reader believe the impossible, in his capable hands, is always possible, and the ordinary, in his elegant words, is truly extraordinary."
—Roxane Gay, author of An Untamed State and Bad Feminist
"In James Tadd Adcox's first novel Does Not Love, marital love disintegrates for complex time-tested reasons, but this reeling couple is packaged in a gritty contemporary milieu with pharmaceutical human guinea pigs run amok underground, and an FBI agent both creating and participating in S&M sex tapes with a librarian staggering in grief over her numerous miscarriages. A swirl of cultural satire and palpable pathos."
—Cris Mazza, author of Various Men Who Knew Us as Girls and Is It Sexual Harassment Yet?
"Not since Don DeLillo’s White Noise has a novel made me feel as though the Earth’s axis has tilted a hair the wrong way—not, that is, until James Tadd Adcox’s Does Not Love. This novel is both deadpan funny and sinister, written in prose that’s cool and crisp: a smart page-turner. It’s as though Revolutionary Road had been written by Denis Johnson, and then some menacing FBI agents were thrown in. Three words of advice: Read this book."
—John McNally, author of After the Workshop
"This is a brisk and biting novel, its horrors roiling beneath a pharmaceutical tone. Adcox deftly situates marital turmoil within the context of cultural turmoil, making Does Not Love a domestic novel for our times."
—Christopher Bachelder, author of U.S.!
"Adcox's Does Not Love is a book I didn't think was possible: a perfect balance of relationship drama, biting social satire, and noir thriller. The story moves at a quick clip, skipping seamlessly from moment to moment. Not until the last page, did I come up for air, look behind me and wonder, 'How did he pull that off?'"
—Jac Jemc, author of A Different Bed Every Night and My Only Wife
“Like the instructional DVD on rough sex watched by its married protagonists, James Tadd Adcox’s Does Not Love starts gentle, then builds to higher intensities. A funny-sad story of the heroism of retaining human emotions in a society quick to pathologize them, this novel looks hard at the possibilities and emptinesses of love.”
—Kathleen Rooney, author of O, Democracy!
"Like our best contemporary writers, James Tadd Adcox sees the prevailing gray of the age, the maps drawn with fuzzy, evaporating borders, and the hilarity that results from our institutionalized abuse of language. Lucky for us, he has the philosophical chops to confront them. Can "betrayal" exist in such a realm of gray? "Plot"? Yes, no, it depends. In Does Not Love collusion is a regime, sexuality is violence, and human emotion lurks like a dark-suited government agent. Brilliant, cumulative, and surprising, Adcox's debut novel represents a rare and valuable thing: a love story that succeeds in changing your mind."
—Kyle Beachy, author of The Slide
"James Tadd Adcox's prose in Does Not Love is spare, precise, and elegant, not unlike the subtleties in emotional distress that his characters undergo in this gripping novel. Lost love, lost almost-lives, painfully lusty fantasies, and cultural criticism all play out in this book that is characteristically funny, if you've already read Adcox's short fiction, and surprisingly so if you have not. Do yourself a favor and get started here, with this book."
—Jamie Iredell, author of I Was a Fat Drunk Catholic School Insomniac
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
James Tadd Adcox's first book The Map of the System of Human Knowledge was published in 2012 by Tiny Hardcore Press. His work has appeared in TriQuarterly, the Literary Review, PANK, Barrelhouse, and Another Chicago Magazine.
Publication Date: October 2014