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The Daredevils



Original Language: English (USA) | 425 pp. | February 2016

2 Seas represents: Dutch, French and Nordic rights.


A twelve-year-old boy, middle son in a wealthy, politically and culturally prominent San Francisco family, watches his city disappear in the earthquake and fires of 1906. His father him that nothing has been lost that cannot be swiftly and easily replaced. He quotes Virgil: “Nothing unreal is allowed to survive.” The boy turns this stark Stoic philosophical “consolation” into the radical theater practices of the day, in the course of which he involves himself with radical labor struggles: anarchists, Wobblies, socialists of every stripe. He learns that politics is meta-acting, and he and his girlfriend—a Connecticut mill girl who is on the verge of national recognition as a spokesperson for workers—embark on a speaking tour with a Midwestern anti-railroad, pro-farmer group and take their political, philosophical, and artistic ethos to the farthest limits of the real and the unreal, where they find there is no useful distinction between the two.

Gary Amdahl is the author of Visigoth (Milkweed 2006) and I Am Death (Milkweed 2008) and four other books. He was awarded two Jerome Fellowships at The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis and a Pushcart Prize. His work has appeared in the New York Times Book Review,The Nation, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, AGNI, A Public Space and many other monthlies, weeklies, and dailies.

Praise for Gary Amdahl

Amdahl is one whose gifts are staggering and hard-won. The stories relate, by the way of guts through grace, the wholeness of a novel too good for mere philosophy. Gary Amdahl knows sports, men, women, and dogs, thank God, so thoroughly as to make them myth. Camus comes to mind: thought with extreme muscle. —Barry Hannah

Praise for Visigoth:

Although rich in anger and brutality, the stories collected in Visigoth are told with charm and a ranging, passionate intelligence.—Ken Kalfus

Gary Amdahl’s vivid stories are at once lyrical and unexpectedly in your face. . . A book we’ll remember.—Thomas McGuane

The men. . . . range from lotharios. . . to hockey jocks. . . But in Amdahl’s highly literary, tragicomic vision, they melt our doubting hearts.—Elle Magazine

These are smart, fully realized stories – sensitive, layered and deliberate … there’s something freeing, refreshing, about Amdahl’s voracious, inappropriate Visigoths.—The Los Angeles Times