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The Enchanters vs. Sprawlburg Springs

“With this book, Brian Costello has done the nearly impossible: He’s managed to document the secret world of a rock n’ roll band in hilarious, satirical detail. The Enchanters… is as important as Moby Dick: the song by Led Zeppelin, not the book. His prose wields the same immortal bombast and ferocity as a John Bonham drum solo.
“—Joe Meno, author of Hairstyles of the Damned and Bluebirds Used to Croon in the Choir

The Enchanters vs. Sprawlburg Springs is a satirical, riotous story of a band trapped in suburbia and bent on changing the world. A frenzied “scene” whips up around them as they gain popularity, and the band members begin thinking big. It’s a hilarious, crazy send-up of self-destructive musicians written in a prose filled with more music than anything on the radio today.

Shaquille Callahan’s only release from cutting squid in the local fish jint is dancing, fighting, drumming aand chugging cough syrup with The Enchanters, the premier Protomersh band of Sprawlburg Springs. Led by volatile sweetheart/singer Renee, The Enchanters whip up a scene the likes of which the stately community has never witnessed. As the media encroaches and the city’s leaders take up arms, the band struggles to contain its crazy energy without imploding. Hilarious, inventive and written in a prose filled with more music than anything on the radio, Costello’s novel is an uproarious send-up of overnight hipster music scenes, rotting suburbia and musicians who think they can change the world.

Brian Costello teaches fiction writing at Columbia College Chicago, drums for The Functional Blackouts and hosts “The Brian Costello Show with Brian Costello,” the World’s First and Only Live Talk Show.

Genre: Musical Mayhem

Like the bastard child of: Nick Hornby and Lester Bangs

Opening line: “I sat out there on the diving board for a long time, looking at the stars and drinking foamy Buck Urine Lite keg beer from a red plastic cup.”

Juiciest piece of wisdom: “And who drinks cough syrup after age 13 anyway? Even crackheads laugh at that high.”

Leading man: Shaquille Callahan, the novel’s fearlessly sarcastic narrator, is also the Enchanters’ long-suffering drummer. Luckily for us, he doesn’t suffer fools gladly.

“Brian Costello’s first novel, The Enchanters vs. Sprawlburg Springs (Featherproof), is essential reading for any would-be rockers with dreams of achieving the music industry’s most elusive byproduct—indie cred. Not just any band can win the devotion of music nerds in black-rimmed glasses wearing thrift store T-shirts. And not just any band can inspire a musical revolution that ultimately makes them want to puke. Like so many seemingly overnight successes before them, the Enchanters struggle with fame, hypocrisy and internal conflict, not to mention the bittersweet romance between our beloved narrator and Renee, the band’s volatile lead singer. If you take your humor dark and your insider info piping hot, you’ll love every minute of Shaquille’s dead-on critiques of the world around him, especially his clever coinage of new music genres like neoglam-boogie and moron rock.”
—Kiki Kruz, Zink Magazine

“The Enchanters is a drummer’s eye view of every hipster scene you could possibly remember from high school and college. Even if you weren’t in a scene, Shaquille Callahan will create it in satirical hilarity, yet complete sincerity. We follow Callahan with his fish-shack squid-cutting day job, which is thankfully interrupted by the dancing, brawling, and gigs of the Enchanters. It’s the story of musicians who want to change the world and of every rockn roll scene imaginable with a simultaneous thumb in the nose to people who take their scene too seriously and a middle finger salute to those who don’t take the music seriously at all.”

:This hilarious, hyper-observant debut novel defies category and concerns itself with, among other things: rock ‘n’ rollers who wear football helmets and Cheeto-hued makeup, beer and brawling, pizza sandwiches and love, squid, and places like Latent Republican Hipster Music Club World and the Perimeter Square Circle Centre Mall. Why would you not read it?”
—Elizabeth Crane, author of All This Heavenly Glory and When the Messenger is Hot

“This audacious debut novel leaves us with as much hope as it does despair. This is not just a story about a protomersh band out to fiercely protect its iconoclastic identity; it’s about a generation’s brave, coming-of-age struggle to define itself in a jaded America that punishes any attempt at originality.”
—Shawn Shiflett, author of Hidden Place

“What Brian Costello has accomplished with The Enchanters vs. Sprawlburg Springs is the literary equivalent of Peter Criss hitting the gong at the end of the drum solo on KISS Alive II. This rock and roll epic is loaded with brass, balls and a good measure of hilarity. A delight to read.”
—Sam Weller, author of The Bradbury Chronicles: The Life of Ray Bradbury

A charged satire… of the punk scene, and the culturally bereft exurbs.”
Chicago Reader

“In his first novel, Costello captures that magical moment when a band is truly born…[an] antic and poignant novel.”
Colorado Daily

“The book is laced with satire and humor, so much so that one could say it’s about satire in itself.”
New City Chicago

“The universal characters that populate any local rock & roll scene are neatly skewered in Costello’s vernacular prose.”
UR Chicago

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