Intelligence and composure are the roots ...


South Brooklyn Exterminating 
Ian S. Maloney

ISBN 978-1-959556-90-9       296 pages        $22.00

Ian S. Maloney’s South Brooklyn Exterminating is a time capsule, a Whitmanian ode to writing and old Brooklyn, all the way down to how to properly pronounce the Kosciuszko Bridge. It is also a love letter to its protagonist Jonah’s larger-than-life father, Jimmy Bugs Fennell, a character as compelling as he is unpredictable, an artist of extermination. In a fascinating move, South Brooklyn Exterminating interweaves Jonah’s early efforts to become a writer with his adventures in pest control, culminating in his decision to write about being an exterminator’s son for a college process essay, his dad helping him find the thread. Maloney deftly explores the parallels between squirrel trapping and termite work and writing to remind us that penning an essay is also a way of working with one’s hands, and extermination, too, an act of shrewd intellect—a tough calculus of death, taught by the incomparable Jimmy, a veritable professor of battling rats and finding roaches in teapots. 
     Caroline Hagood, author of Weird Girls  

Ian S. Maloney taps into the poetry and pathos around the glue traps, aerosol bombs, and shadowy scurrying inside the homebase of South Brooklyn Exterminating. What cannot be eradicated is the love between a father and a son, the larger-than-life Jimmy “Bugs” Fennel and the up-to-the-challenge schoolboy Jonah, their relationship tested and contested through bouts of terror and violence—along with onslaughts of unspeakable kindness. Here Maloney’s Brooklyn comes to life in startling ways, funny and sad in equal measure, and readers will be engrossed by illuminating excursions into the crevices and hiding places where all families, especially the Fennels, take shelter. For as Jonah, our tender-hearted and tough narrator, says about his dad and his company, “South Brooklyn Exterminating takes on the world.” And to our everlasting wonder, that is precisely what this resonant, powerful novel does again and again.          
      Joseph Di Prisco, New Literary Project; Subway to California, The Pope of Brooklyn, My Last Resume        

Ian Maloney has written a book that is at once steeped in tradition and wholly original. A young man and his father. The forgotten hours and corridors of New York City, airports at three am and the back corridors of the halls of power and splendor. There are hints of Joyce and Selby and Yates in this prose. There is the violent orchestra of the American dream in these pages. South Brooklym Exterminating  is the graceful debut of a true American stylist.           
     Charles Bock, NYT bestselling author of Beautiful Children and I Will Do Better        

Ian Maloney’s South Brooklyn Exterminating immediately takes its place among the plain-spoken, hilarious, and heartbreaking classics of American working-class fiction. It’s a book about many things: fathers and sons, husbands and wives, and the ways in which the need to always makes ends meet supersedes so much else in our lives. Also, it’s about rats. Lots and lots of rats. Jesus Mary and Joseph, all the rats.          
     Ron Currie, author of The One-Eyed Man        

South Brooklyn Exterminating is working class fiction at its finest—at once highly relatable, and illuminating, full of pathos, humor, and authenticity, with characters who walk off the page and experiences that feel lived.           
      Jonathan Evison, author of Again and Again        

In South Brooklyn Exterminating, Ian Maloney documents, in spare, crystalline prose, the complications of growing up and navigating through a working class family and that family’s business. This is a moving story of youth with all its contradictions of loyalty and rebellion, connection and estrangement, courting freedom and danger at every turn. A stellar debut novel.                
     Robert Lopez, author of A Better Class Of People

Ian S. Maloney grew up in Marine Park, Brooklyn, where he worked as a NYS Pest Control Technician. He is currently Professor of Literature, Writing, and Publishing at St. Francis College, Director of the Jack Hazard Fellowship for the New Literary Project, and Contributor at Vol. 1 Brooklyn. Ian serves on the Literary Council for the Brooklyn Book Festival and on the Board for the Walt Whitman Initiative.