Foreword Reviews, Starred Book Review

“A close, fascinating view of a wild, self-destructive ride, Billy’s story careens toward a memorable end. The Escapist is a stunning novel about a damaged man.”

Readers’ Favorite, Starred Book Review

“Author David Puretz has created a highly literary and poignant work that tells many tales through its single-character narrative…an accomplished work worthy of great praise, both for its excellent writing style and its apt perspective on our current sociopolitical time.”

Crossroad Reviews

“It will make you want to keep those you love near you and the mental health issues were done very well. I loved the characters and the story and I will come back to read this one again.”

The Green Study, “Escaping Reality: Variations on a Theme”

“Of the debut novels I’ve read from JKS this last year, The Escapist is one of the best. I often get irritated by some of the drug-fueled/sex odysseys that seem to be the purview of male writers, but the writing is solid and the anti-hero is made just sympathetic enough. I was engaged by the story and had a hard time putting it down.”

Goodreads, “Best Reading for the Contemporary Writer,”


“Sizzling, a brilliant work of imagination…unflinching in its depiction of our culture and political moment…with the relevance and pace of Kerouac’s On the Road and the psychological brutality of Golding’s Lord of the Flies.”
– Michelle Yasmine Valladares, poet, MFA Program Director at The City College of New York, and author of Nortada, The North Wind

“Crisp, clear, and electrically charged, The Escapist is a burst of much needed vitality blowing through the miasma of late capitalism’s nihilism and hypocrisy.”
– Brendan Kiely, New York Times bestselling author of Tradition

The Escapist is a fast-paced novel about the miserable American road trip, sleeping outside of diners, failing to connect with hostile strangers and family members alike, and missing natural beauty for the chemical sunrise at

the bottom of a pill bottle. Raising complicated questions about the nature of control, and drawing bold lines between state violence, family trauma, and self abuse, David Puretz has crafted a gut punch of a road novel for anyone who ever wondered what drove Hunter S. Thompson to drugs, and made Jack Kerouac want to leave it all behind for a dotted highway line.”
– Chris L. Terry, author of the novels Black Card and Zero Fade

“A perfect time in our country for the return of the anti-hero. So many young men begin an odyssey into adulthood only to find that the past, usually in the form of a father, is both the catalyst forward and the keeper of a locked gate to the future. The goal becomes not salvation but survival. David Puretz’s debut novel alternates between life’s realistic blows and a hallucinatory journey that may be his only route to selfhood.”
– Linsey Abrams, author of Our History in New York, Double Vision, and Charting by the Stars.