The New Regime: N. Frank Daniels & Tony O’Neill

Once a promising keyboardist for bands like the Brian Jonestown Massacre, writer Tony O’Neill fell into a black hole of heroin and crack addiction. Now, with his new novel Down and Out on Murder Mile (HarperCollins) — a tragic but hilarious redemption story about two addicts who move from Los Angeles to London’s corrupt “murder mile” — the Brooklyn-based scribe embraces his second chance and revisits the demons of his drug-fueled past.

“Most recovering addicts have found God — or at least a publisher. From the needle in the arm to the bible under it, I’m so fucking sick of the predictable, self-deprecating psychobabble confession books banging on about having given up debauchery since becoming a recovering addict. Anybody who has endured these books will admit that even suicide has its brighter aspects. Tony O’Neill’s Down and Out on Murder Mile is an exception to the rule and there are no rules for the exception. A well-written life is almost as rare as a well spent one. And what a life. I thought I was depraved. The hand of God, reaching down into the mire, couldn’t elevate O’Neill to the depths of depravity. Just when you think he has scraped the bottom of the barrel of indecency, he lowers the bottom. Down and Out on Murder Mile is funny, moving and completely authentic. It is a map of hell with directions showing his readers exactly how to get there. Go there. By opening our hearts, we open up our passage through the flames. You’ll get no love from the above. God’s a sod. I prefer Lucifer. This book is not for reading. It is for injecting.” — Sebastian Horsley

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Nashville-based writer N. Frank Daniels spent four years in search of a major book deal for his searing debut novel, Futureproof (Harper Perennial). He was eventually discovered on MySpace, of all places, where he caught the attention of a publisher and later, writers such as James Frey and Jerry Stahl. Futureproof, which has critics referencing Irvine Welsh and Bret Easton Ellis in the same breath, follows Luke, a high school dropout whose life devolves in the ghetto of Atlanta. Dilettantes, meet the delinquent.

“N. Frank Daniels has one of the freshest and most original voices I’ve encountered in years. He manages to strike an improbable balance between jaded and vulnerable. He sounds like he was born yesterday and, at the same time, like he’s been on the planet forever and has seen it all. The fierceness of his vision coexists with a leavening humor that I find irresistible. I think Futureproof is an important novel and one we’ll be talking about for years to come.” — Jay McInerney

First photo: David Field Second photo: Max Shuster

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