- Daniel Wallace, author of Big Fish and This Isn't Going to End Well
Port Kydd, 1929. Joshua Rivers, his pregnant wife Lily, his criminal sister Olive, a geriatric dog Orla, and a cast of ne'er-do-wells eke out life in The Swill, a speakeasy passed down through the Rivers family. Outside, political and race wars rage in The Bonny, the rough Irish neighborhood where they have always lived. But when Olive's in trouble and asks her brother to help her pull a job--one with roots that reach way back into the Rivers family history--who will take the fall? Can The Swill shelter the family, as it always has, or is their luck gone for good?
"The Swill takes the reader on a winding and unpredictable path through history and class where every surface sparkles brilliantly with period detail. Gutierrez twines a half century of skullduggery, of Pinkertons, gangsters, speakeasies, of family, family secrets, and betrayals, into an arresting tale that is brutal, tender, and riveting. He writes unsentimentally, with humor, and with a deep and abiding love for the novel's real subject, which is that of history and how deeply and intimately it connects us and shapes our fates. That is Gutierrez's real genius and what makes this thriller so much more, what makes it so memorable."
- Alexander Parsons, director of creative writing at the University of Houston and author of In the Shadows of the Sun
"Atmospheric and taut, Michael Gutierrez's The Swill is an enthralling, raucous novel about art and history and violence. Imagine a barroom, low lit and pulsing with story, and imagine that story being told by Hemingway, Tarantino and Denis Johnson. That is Michael Gutierrez and his fabulous novel, The Swill."
- Travis Mulhauser, author of Sweet Girl