The Friends of Allan Renner
A new character-driven, mixed genre novel from the curious mind of Dave J. Andrae
Released November 11, 2020 by Kaji-Pup Press
Available on hardcover as well as eBook (see below)
304 pages - ISBN: 978-1-64970-128-2
Often laid back but sometimes excitable, Allan Renner is approaching forty and currently living in Florida in
the guest quarters above his parents' garage. When he's not working as an online copy editor or as a production
assistant on independent films, he often follows world cinema, fills his head with strange accounts of the
paranormal, bonds with his dog, or shoots the breeze with his small cadre of friends around the country. It's
through his dealings with these friends that we get to know Renner and how he truly comes into his own.
There's Akhil, an alcoholic guidance counselor from India who studies cosmology and astrophysics in his
spare time, when he's not busy boozing and reliving his failed courtship. There's Sadie, an adventurous
blond rock singer who relocates to Minneapolis from L.A. after her band breaks up, and who men fight over.
There's Fred, a half-black, half-Jewish filmmaker based in Brooklyn who gets in over his head when he invites
the wrong person to an acting audition. There's Renner's father, Philip, a poker-playing couch potato, and
his mother, Alice, an even-keeled bookworm, both of whom might be in for a rude awakening. There's Ruby, a
mischievous, lovable Havapoo and Renner's closest companion, who gets Renner and herself into a jam. There's
Carmen, an ex-clubber turned single mother from Lisbon who enters Renner's life not long before Hurricane
Irma makes its way to Florida. And there's Xynnulu, an alien-human hybrid and soldier of fortune who Renner
and Ruby must rely on in order to meet their destiny and discover certain secrets of the universe.
Poignant, funny, and perceptive, Dave J. Andrae's debut novel, The Friends of Allan Renner, is an
entertaining read. It combines adult literary fiction with sci-fi elements, romance, and no shortage of wry
cultural commentary intermingled with skilled storytelling.
"In Andrae's novel, Renner's relationships take him to some disparate places. After all, his friends are not
just a diverse mix, they also have their own complex, engaging background stories. Whether Renner is having
a crossbow pointed at him after talking about films or waiting for a potentially dangerous convict to audition
for a part in a movie, the sympathetic hero, no matter how kind and good-natured he may be, has the potential
to land in some sticky situations."
- Kirkus Reviews
"Knowing that Allan Renner isn't a direct proxy for the author is also enjoyable; this is a fictional memoir of
sorts, which leaves room for stories to get a bit out of hand, with high stakes and plot lines that teeter past
the edge of believability. However, despite the fictional nature of the prose, the author cleverly makes us
forget that this isn't a true story. The interactions feel too visceral, like real-life conversations overheard
in a bar that make us lean back to listen in. [...] As a whole, The Friends of Allan Renner is a clever
and original novel by a confident author who isn't afraid to let his imagination and erudition run wild."
- Self-Publishing Review
"Author Dave J. Andrae has crafted a most engrossing work of fiction that masterfully balances the surreal and the
real, the sublime and the ridiculous, to deliver a humorous but poignant look at the meaning of modern life. In
terms of its character development, Allan and his friends and family have stacks of personality, complete with
engaging unique dialogue, amusing little details and references, and their own slot where they fit into the
protagonist's life and contribute to the overall story. The plot is well crafted to flow naturally between these
different encounters, cleverly shifting attention as the larger plot points build up over time and bring the work to
a thought-provoking conclusion."
- Readers' Favorite
"While reading this book, I felt like I was sailing through a quiet river at night. I found the storyline unique
and exciting, and it gave me a "quiet thrill." It had a depth and meaning that appealed to me, and it made me
think about some of the moral and ethical issues in our world. I also pondered on the effect of these issues
in the grand scheme of things. [...] I admire the author's writing style; it showed creativity and intellect.
He employed an understated wit and humor in his writing. The book had a warm, personable feel that put me
at ease while reading it."
- Online Book Club
"Like the film community it explores, the pace of this story is provided in staccato impressions with segues
that link characters, events, and changing circumstances in a satisfying cinematic-style experience. [...]
While in many ways the main character is a mirror of his creator, Dave J. Andrae, the story is narrated from
the changing perspectives of not only Renner but eight of Allan's friends. This makes for an astute observation
of the evolution of Allan's life and psyche, both from the protagonist's viewpoint and those around him."
- Midwest Book Review / Donovan's Bookshelf
"Dave J. Andrae's The Friends of Allan Renner proposes an intelligent exploration of life through a multi-level,
multiperspectival narrative which comes by virtue of Allan Renner's encounters and discourse with his eclectic
assortment of friends. [...] This book is definitively an offering of food for thought, brimming with revelations
about life and people in general. This is a narrative that is provocative in its ideals and shines through its
characters, their thoughts, actions and personalities during their congregations with central character Allan
Renner often giving a story within a story as their backstories are also very revealing about human nature."
- Bestsellers World
"Each of Renner's friends brings something interesting to the table and the conversations Renner maintains
throughout the book add interest rather than confusion. [...] Every chapter end feels like the end of a
mini-book and the reader is left a feeling of wanting to know more about each particular friend. With this
phenomenon Andrae holds a mirror up to the reader's character and inherent human nature to be curious
about other people. I found this an interesting play on human psychology. Andrae has a knack for this and
I felt his little mirror being held up throughout various parts of the book."
- Pacific Book Review
"Readers will delight in Andrae's affecting worldbuilding, vivid prose, and flawed, full hearted characters.
Combining usual tropes of literary fiction such as philosophical concepts, individual struggles, and cultural
allusions with a dash of science fiction, Andrae offers plenty for lovers of cross-genre fiction to engage with."
- The Prairies Book Review
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