Cover photograph by Lynn Davis
New edition published by Two Dollar Radio, 2009
With a new introduction by Erik Davis
Originally published by Random House, New York, 1969
Nog is a journey without end. A journey through Time past and Time present — a journey of one man without history, without tradition.
Nog is about a man riding through American Space, space that is vast and choked and silent. Space that one fills with obsessive monologues, disintegrating memories, hoped-for horizons, buried myths, paranoid plans. Nog rides through this space because that is what we do, that is the great and original promise, the central fact. He explores or suspects he might be exploring The Great Space. He tries to define it, to know he is in it, to embrace it, to settle it, to get through it, to be a witness to it . . . there is a trerrible anguish about inhabiting space without a beginning or end. Memories disintegrate as fast as they are brought up. They become arbitrary. words are too fragmented, there is no locus, no safe symbols, no totems that don't endlessly transform beyond our understanding, no relationships that aren't brutalized by the speed with which we pass each other. All we know how to do is to keep on, loosed by our own momentum, going faster and faster. The road is brutal and energetic and frantic, and sometimes funny, and certainly insanely fast. There is hardly time to make notes.
This book begins in a small town on the coast of California, moves to San Francisco and the desert badlands of the Southwest, from there to Los Angeles through the Panama Canal to New York — and perhaps back again.
“Nog is to literature what Dylan is to lyrics." — JACK NEWFIELD, VILLAGE VOICE
"The Novel of Bullshit is dead." — THOMAS PYNCHON
"Somewhere between Psychedelic Superman and Samuel Beckett." — NEWSWEEK
“This strikes me as the most original, exciting and talented new novel since Thomas Pynchon's 'V.'” — RICHARD POIRIER, editor of the PARTISAN REVIEW
"Nog is the kind of novel that suffers from being called 'experimental'. Actually, it is part of a clear, established tradition. I would place it between Samuel Beckett's trilogy (Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnameable) and Don DeLillo's Great Jones Street — closer to Beckett in spirit, to Delillo in time." — Toby Litt, CULT CHOICE in PENGUIN READERS' GROUP
". . . its combo of Samuel Beckett syntax and hippie-era freakiness mapped out new literary territory for generations to come." — Michael Miller, TIME OUT NEW YORK 2009