“He had excused himself from the world without reluctance, remorse, or the sense that his time on Earth had held a shred of redemptive value.”
Enter the life of John Richter. Discharged from the Canadian military due to a base closure and locked out of gainful employment because of affirmative action, he stews in resentment at the immigrants, gays, and uppity women taking over his beloved country. When Richter takes a job as a rat exterminator following a garbage workers’ strike, his self-delusion, mental illness, and rage at the world lead him down a path to infamy and self-destruction.
Set against the backdrop of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Guttersnipe is a piercing examination of progressivism, multiculturalism, and white male entitlement. Jay Black’s debut novella is an uncomfortable look at the men who fall through the cracks and how society’s failures can turn the mentally ill into monsters.
Originally published by Black Ink Books in 2004, Guttersnipe was the subject of a hate speech investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. This edition of the book includes an afterword by Black reflecting on the RCMP investigation and his motivations for writing the novella.
“Guttersnipe is a raw, honest depiction of how modern Western countries use, discard, and isolate ordinary men until they finally break. In doing so, it accomplishes for our generation what David Morrell’s novel First Blood did for the Vietnam era. John Richter is a character with whom one can sympathize, until the killing starts. Black’s compelling novella doesn’t merely explore a man’s journey into terrorism, but also one of the great taboos of our times: how Western governments and societies create the very ‘boogiemen’ they seek to eradicate.” — T.J. Martinell, author of The Song of Wulfgar and The Pilgrim’s Digress
“An ugly, darkly humorous, but ultimately tragic tale of a man driven to extreme ends by extreme circumstances.” — Andy Nowicki, author of The Columbine Pilgrim and Heart Killer
“John Richter is the permanent Mr. Hyde and id of the Anglo working-class. In Jay Black’s Guttersnipe, the ex-Canadian soldier Richter tries to find his footing after the forced closure of his base. Cut off from all meaningful existence by the whims of the government, he becomes a rat killer for a company trying to get one over on a sanitation workers’ strike in Vancouver. What follows is a surreal and violent parable about alienation and atomization in a world gone mad. All the pedophilia, sex trafficking, and moral relativism cannot compete with the absurdity of having skilled craftsmen reduced to guarding refuse. Guttersnipe, which was once investigated by the RCMP because of hate literature allegations, is indeed a dangerous book. The danger lies in its unvarnished truth about life at the bottom of the managerialist ecosystem and those who decide to strike back by going postal.” — Benjamin Welton, author of Sick Inside the Citadel and PANIC
Guttersnipe is also available in paperback format. To purchase the paperback edition, click here.