A great American city is destroyed under mysterious circumstances. A lone survivor wanders through its ruins. Out of a wind-tossed wreckage of language appear images of a young, half-orphaned boy, of a perplexed, yet idealistic, student, of a disillusioned, bitter middle-aged man dreaming of lives he might have led, had he chosen differently in early manhood; and of a comatose old man in a hospital ICU, lonely, paralyzed, and dying – and half-seen visions of an adolescent girl, a young woman, an old woman, alone, lost, and abandoned, longing, in an ever-renewed and frustrated search for love.
Publisher's description: "Working in the tradition of Joyce, Pynchon, Beckett, the 'New Novel,' and other important modernist and postmodernist innovators, Bernard has fashioned a unique blend of powerful storytelling, linguistic mastery, and profound moral and spiritual insight, a wild journey into the heart of darkness of the madness of our times.
"Described by the author as an 'antinovel, a novel turned inside out, like a sock,' 'a story of the discovery of identity causing its immediate dissolution' and 'a coming-of-age story in which there is no coming of age,' A Spy in the Ruins is a permanent addition to the literature of challenge and subversion, a book for the twenty-first century."
"... magnificent ... the best modern American novel since those by Thomas Pynchon and William Gass." - Juan Goytisolo, author of Count Julian and A Cock-Eyed Comedy
" ... an extraordinary literary experiment." - Anna Sears, author of Exile
" ... an invasion of Joycean territory with banners waving and sentences aflame.... a book for those who cherish consciousness and who wonder whatever happened to it." - Jack Foley, author of O Powerful Western Star and The Dancer and the Dance