So Many True Believers gives voice to the wanton, the restless, and those hellbent on self-destruction. The Nat Mota School for at-risk youth is the nexus of Tyrone Jaeger’s spiraling narrative; loosed from it is an array of characters yearning, raging, and chasing down their misguided dreams. There is Jeremy, mourning the loss of his girlfriend to a UFO cult; Harold, the betrayed husband exploring intimacy in unfamiliar waters; and Ginny, the teenage runaway hiding out with a band of video-obsessed squatters. Mystery, magic, and gritty realism are coiled against a backdrop of failed relationships and addictions in this darkly humorous debut collection depicting the frayed edges of the American psyche.
"So Many True Believers is a wonderful book of songs from a single musical; heartbreak songs, songs of wonder and disbelief. We leave the Tyrone Jaeger Theater reminded that our notion of sanity depends on a daily and perilous reclamation of self and hope."
—Mark Richard, author of The Ice at the Bottom of the World
"So Many True Believers is great American Gothic, in the vein of Flannery O’Connor’s fiction, or the novels of Daniel Woodrell—haunting, perverse, gritty, darkly comic. Jaeger’s characters are fascinatingly un-plucky; even the most capable of them are barely muddling through, following twisted instincts as they navigate the pitfalls that await their every step. These stories are heartfelt portraits of psychological depth."
—Timothy Schaffert, author of The Swan Gondola
"Tyrone Jaeger is a new writer with a big heart, a delight in language, and a deft and subtle touch; So Many True Believers is gentle and melancholy, a story collection linked like a set of Christmas lights, a series of bright bulbs glowing against the cold and dark night."
—Lauren Groff, author of Fates and Furies