Brad Zellar Reading
Till the Wheels Fall Off
A Novel by Brad Zellar
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Roller rinks, record players, coin-operated condom machines, small-town mobsters, and always a wicked soundtrack—Till the Wheels Fall Off is a warmly introspective novel about growing up different and falling in love with art before the internet changed everything.
It’s the late 1980s when insomniac teen Matthew bonds over music with his mom’s new husband, gruff roller rink owner Russ, setting off a series of events and resonances that will haunt him long into adulthood. Spanning the years in between truck driving, hyperactive and compulsive mental health disorders, DIY zine distribution, and living on the road, Matthew eventually returns to his hometown and seeks to reconnect with the man who shaped the course of his life. An expansive and masterfully crafted story for readers of Jennifer Egan and Ben Lerner, this long-awaited novel from Brad Zellar (House of Coates with Alec Soth, 2014) forms an ambitious coming-of-age tale and portrait of rural Midwestern life, keenly examining neurodiversity, masculinity, family, and the intoxicating power of nostalgia.
Listen to Russ’s “Screaming Wheels Gold Standard Mix” HERE.
About The Author:
Brad Zellar has worked as a writer and editor for daily and weekly newspapers, as well as for regional and national magazines. A former senior editor at City Pages, The Rake, and Utne Reader, Zellar is also the author of Suburban World: The Norling Photos, Conductors of the Moving World, House of Coates, and Driftless. He has frequently collaborated with the photographer Alec Soth, and together they produced seven editions of The LBM Dispatch, chronicling American community life in the twenty-first century. Zellar’s work has been featured in the New York Times Magazine, The Believer, Paris Review, Vice, Guernica, Aperture, and Russian Esquire. He spent fifteen years working in bookstores and was a co-owner of Rag & Bone Books in Minneapolis. He currently lives in Saint Paul.