Three dramatic and emblematic stories intertwine in Sway - the early days of the Rolling Stones; the life of avant-garde filmmaker Kenneth Anger; and the community of Charles Manson and his followers. Together they illuminate a decade's rise and fall; its gods and devils; and a particular hour in American history when many young revellers seeking joy, fellowship and liberation fell under a darker spell, leading to unprovoked and inexplicable violence.
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Lazar's hugely impressive achievement is to evoke the energy of an over-documented time in a new way... As dark and enigmatic as its central subjects, Sway often feels like a whole new genre of folklore fiction...it's irresistible - Daily Mail
Dark, intricate eulogy to the bloody death of Sixties idealism - Esquire
Lazar is a clever enough writer to let his juxtapositions and cross-cuts do the work: indeed his visual imagination pervades - Times Literary Supplement
Reveals Lazar to be a considerable talent - Guardian
Sway is a study of layers of manipulation and control: Manson over his credulous followers; the Stones over their audience; Anger's attempt to harness the forces of magic... Casts a haunting spell over the reader - Daily Telegraph
A new folklore removed from the heady image of the 1960s ... it's only a vision of reality but Lazar certainly makes it a believable one - Metro
Lazar's empathetic reconstructions attain a psychologically astute solidity and we are vouchsafed a glimpse of the worlds the protagonists dreamed and then cocooned themselves in - New Statesman
Zachary Lazar's superb second novel, 'Sway, ' reads like your parents' nightmare idea of what would happen to you if you fell under the spell of rock 'n' roll...Elegant and intricate...this brilliant novel is about what's to be found in the shadows, the most terrifying crannies of twisted souls, the darkest gleaming gems - New York Times Book Review
Scintillating intelligence... [A] brilliant portrayl of life as a legend -
A coruscating, kaleidoscopic vision of the 60s, Lazar's Sway is at once an intimate re-imagining of iconic figures and an expansive meditation on an epoch that reverberates to this day. An enthralling read, shot through with flashes of edgy beauty and dark wisdom -
Joseph Conrad said that fiction is primarily a visual art; he would have loved Zachary Lazar's Sway for the thousand indelible visual details of a startling originality - and for Lazar's ability to shine a light into the contemporary heart of darkness -
Zachary Lazar graduated from Brown University in 1990. He has been a Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and has received the James Michener/Copernicus Society Prize from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Lazar grew up in Colorado and now teaches at Hofstra University. Sway is his second novel.