The Friends of Allan Renner

An entertaining read, residing somewhere between literary fiction and blended-genre work, from the mind of Dave J. Andrae

Released November 11, 2020 by Kaji-Pup Press
Available on both hardcover and a variety of eBook formats (see below)
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.

The Friends of Allan Renner (Hardcover Version)
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Also available in three different eBook formats:

The Friends of Allan Renner (Kindle/MOBI Version)
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The Friends of Allan Renner (EPUB Version)
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The Friends of Allan Renner (PDF Version)
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"As the film student's audition points out, the meaning of a story is profoundly affected by the actor who interprets it. Indirectly, the reader of The Friends of Allan Renner is prompted to consider that these fictional events could have been told in various emotive voices for different purposes. It so happens that Andrae, the novelist, animates this story with a light, absurdist touch and wry detachment."
- Independent Book Review

"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

"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

"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

"An easygoing read, which actually felt a fair bit shorter than its lengthy word count. [...] It is at times laugh-out-loud funny (imagine a stoner web designer going on the rampage with a mace) and at other times heartbreakingly poignant; Andrae is a tremendous author, who manages to pull off all of these different styles and moods."
- Matt McAvoy Book Review

"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

"With references throughout the story to a 'fateful day in 2017' the plot strolls on, creating intrigue as you try to work out what's going to happen to Allan. There are elements of science fiction but I think that this book demonstrates most strongly the bonds made by and between people. [...] An innovative concept that I feel has been well executed and makes for an interesting read."
- LoveReading

"Renner, the reader will learn, is a seemingly ordinary human being who attracts extraordinary attention because of his willingness to consider just about every possibility for how life can be organized, freely criticizing hostile and small-minded approaches and, in his own quiet manner, admiring and rewarding the glimmers of love and sharing that come his way. This singular quality, a refusal, it could be said, to mingle with the mob, will take him farther than he could ever have imagined, and the reader will be happy to join him on the journey."
- Feathered Quill