what if i got down on my knees? presents romantic misadventures and entanglements of absurd, whimsical, existential longing, featuring discovery, secrets, identity, escape, strange happenings, endurance, regret, and hope. The stories are little postcards from the lonely regions of the human heart.
These tales of wonder are about people trying to find meaning and a place in an indifferent world, and their discoveries, revelations, secrets, failures, struggles, connections, and odd encounters along the way—
—two unemployed men steal dogs and run them through buildings around town.
—a man goes on what turns into the worst date in recorded history.
—you are asked to baby-sit for a neighbor, only to find a giant baby waiting for you.
—a man comes home to find his entire yard and home paved over by a long lost rival.
—a clerk at a used record store finds a man has passed away on one of the couches.
—some young adults go into the basement to get sad, in order to impress girls.
—a stranger extracts a baby from a man waiting for the bus.
With themes of longing, fragility, uncertainty, impermanence, regret, the mysteries hidden in everyday life, discovery, ennui, loneliness, irresponsible behavior, confusion, change, identity, and absurd situations, Tony Rauch is a worthy successor to the artistry and absurdism of Donald Barthelme and Steve Martin.
“For those open to having their heartstrings tangled and tugged repeatedly, this book can become a classic on their bookshelf.”
—The Hoya, Georgetown University
“Tony Rauch is reviving the bodies of love and mystery and laughter. He knows where the bodies are buried and is digging them up beautifully. And we are all the better for it.”
—Patrick Wensink, author of Broken piano for President and Black Hole Blues
"The quirky and wholeheartedly original book, what if i got down on my knees? by Tony Rauch is the epitome of what literature needs more of.
what if i got down on my knees? is easily one of the most creative books I’ve read in a while. Rauch’s style is exciting, novel and imaginative.
Rauch provides the reader with an incredibly unique and exceptional piece of literature. If you’re on the market for something new, unpredictable and oddly comical, look into what if i got down on my knees? — it won’t disappoint.
– Daily Nexus, University of California–Santa Barbara student newspaper
“This is a wonderful book of believable absurdities, inviting us to join in the fantastic madness of a truly original voice. You will celebrate how uncomfortable some of these stories will make you feel. You will know when ‘the strange’ is strangely close to the truth.”
—Jim Heynen, author of Fishing for Chickens and Ordinary Sins
“Tony Rauch’s magical, manic and lonely narrators navigate the margins of a cartoon world carefully and uncannily crafted to distort our vision. Yet these stories somehow reflect the strangeness of our lives with distressing accuracy. In what if I got down on my knees? Rauch writes with his trademark surprise, humor and joyous confusion.”
—John Colburn, author of Psychedelic Norway and Invisible Daughter
“Reading Tony Rauch’s what if I got down on my knees? is like going to a really good magic show, and the whole time you’re at the show, you’re thinking about it being over, so you can see someone you know and tell them, ‘You gotta go see this guy’s stuff.’ There are a lot of good fiction writers out there making believable magic, but Rauch’s show is different. You gotta go see it. Yeah, it’s that kind of show.”
—Jeff Vande Zande, author of the novel American Poet