On the Run With MaryPaperback - 2015
"Dementedly cheerful ... a rollicking catalogue of sex, violence, and acts of cartoonish cruelty, Barrow's novel is a schoolboy's happy nightmare writ large; readers may find it impossible to look away."-- Publishers Weekly
"A masterpiece by a young genius, fated to die shortly after he had completed it."--A.N. Wilson, author of Victoria: A Life and Tolstoy: A Biography
"The primitive, understated style amid such horrors has a nice comic effect, and it might be argued that Barrow only exaggerates the usual catalog of man's inhumanity ... Barrow suggests a writer who might in time have joined the ranks of William Burroughs, William Kotzwinkle, or John Kennedy Toole."
-- Kirkus Reviews
"The headlong energy and happy perversity of On the Run with Mary makes one admire much of what Barrow did, and wonder with sorrow at what he might have done."--Sam Lipsyte, author of The Ask and Home Land
"A unique masterpiece from a bizarre mind. To say it's Lewis Carroll meets Jean Genet . . . would be to belittle its farcically filthy originality."--Nicholas Haslam, author of Redeeming Features
Shining moments of tender beauty punctuate this story of a youth on the run after escaping from an elite English boarding school. At London's Euston Station, the narrator meets a talking dachshund named Mary and together they're off on escapades through posh Mayfair streets and jaunts in a Rolls-Royce. But the youth soon realizes that the seemingly sweet dog is a handful; an alcoholic, nymphomaniac, drug-addicted mess who can't stay out of pubs or off the dance floor. In a world of abusive headmasters and other predators, the sexually omnivorous youth discovers that true friends are never needed more than on the mean streets of 1960s London, as he tries to save his beloved Mary from herself. On the Run with Mary mirrors the horrors and the joys of the terrible twentieth century. Jonathan Barrow's original drawings accompany the text.
Jonathan Barrow was born in 1947, north of London. His promising career as a writer and artist was cut short when he was killed at age twenty-two in a car crash alongside his fiancée, two weeks before they were to be married. The manuscript was discovered in Barrow's office drawer the day after his death.