How to Dispose of Dead Elephants
How to Dispose of Dead Elephants is an imaginative novel which explores themes of illness and identity through oracles and exorcisms, pranks and fables. The plot centres on Stubb Marakas, a young college dropout, who awakes one morning with the sudden urge to doodle Aesop's fables. Aided by his best friend, Mark Connor (a swashbuckling Korean adoptee), the two set out to find the meaning behind this curious tick, embarking on a journey which will force the two friends to come to grips with not only Stubb's re-emerging epilepsy and Mark's unknown origins, but also the failing health of their childhood guru, an old Greek trickster called "Papou". Gretes' debut novel is a hilarious coming-of-age tale which is equally moving and entertaining.
‘Andrew Gretes’ debut novel, How to Dispose of Dead Elephants, is a richly imagined and vibrant piece of writing. Illuminating the irrefutable complexities of family and his protagonist’s evolution into adulthood, Gretes manages to reveal memorable, multi-textured characters with stunning originality, humor and deep compassion, while addressing the many questions inherent in what it means to be human.
-Denise Orenstein, author of Unseen Companion and The Secret Twin
‘Wonderful, delightful, wildly original, and funny. Gretes conjures up a fable all his own.’
-Murad Kalam, O. Henry Award winner and author of the novel Night Journey
‘Aesop’s fables, Punic Wars, Delphic Inc., what world are we in and how did we get here? We’re on a joyride with Stubb, Mark, and trickster grandfather Papou, in search of nothing less than the meaning of life. This inventive novel, filled with non-sequiturs and riddles, also offers nuggets of wisdom: humans are no better than yogurt, no worse than vinegar. Love doesn’t come from the heart, but the bellybutton. If you have a taste for zaniness and wit, this novel’s for you.’
-Barbara Goldberg, author of The Royal Baker’s Daughter and Marvelous Pursuits
‘A hilariously modern coming of age tale.’
-World Literature Today