From LIBRARY JOURNAL:

“As the 18th century clashes with the 21st century by means of a kidnapping, an elixir of youth, an old manuscript, several murders, and many grisly incidents, a macabre tale unfolds that leaves everyone changed. The eccentric author of Goldsmith’s Return presents a Florida gothic fable that both amuses and horrifies as its gruesome story takes shape. VERDICT: Readers fond of dark comedy and the macabre may get a kick out of this oddly compelling (and sometimes disturbingly graphic) tale.” —Library Journal…

From PUBLISHERS WEEKLY:

“Lurid and grotesque, this darkly comic tale revels in depravity and decadence; arcane knowledge leads to horror and ambition leads to destruction.” —Publishers Weekly…

From SHELF AWARENESS:

“A crazy, bawdy world of surrealist absurdities brought to life with a dazzling literary palette.” —Shelf Awareness…

From DAVID LENTZ, Goodreads reviewer:

“If you are a serious reader of literary novels and value truly great invention in style and narration, then I cannot recommend this great novel more highly. There’s genius in this writing and it has literary legs which appreciative readers will value for generations to come.” —David Lentz, review for Goodreads…

From BEN CHEEVER:

“Lizard World is the best novel I’ve read in eons. It feels more like a found manuscript than a work of the imagination. Indeed our protagonist discovers the diary of a 17th-Century nobleman who travels to Florida, where he encounters a tribe of naked “salvages” who worship “crokadells.” This might seem a retelling of “Heart of Darkness,” if only Joey Conrad were a humorist, and Kurtz a man entirely without scruples. But it is not the exotic locales that render Lizard World a treasure. Like all great fiction the novel takes the reader home; this journey leads into the darkest caverns of the self. The story will make you weak with laughter. But it will also make you whole.” —Ben Cheever, author of Strides…

From BARNEY ROSSET:

“Lizard World opens with Josiah Fludd, a disenchanted character from the Early Modern World, exhuming a female corpse for a customer, whose interest in the carcass is presumed by the gravedigger to be a sexual one. Fludd’s blasé attitude vanishes when, on delivery of the corpse, he watches its feet sawed off, and he learns that they are meant to replace his patron’s nether claws. From this startling introduction Terry Richard Bazes pushes us into a bizarre world that vacillates between the past and present—and is told by a writer whose imagination seems to have no bounds.” —Barney Rosset, publisher of the Evergreen Review and founder of Grove Press  …

From CHARLES PALLISER:

“The command of the language of the period is astonishing and the prose manages to be racy and vivid as well as convincing.” —Charles Palliser, author of The Quincunx…

From PETER COYOTE:

“In a sane world, author Terry Bazes’ imagination would be quarantined like nuclear fuel. A small benefit of living in our disordered and crazy world is that his imagination is loose in it. It has delivered this pungent, genre-mixing, spicy and steamy omelette of a novel. Oscillating (in style and form) between a late-17th century world of grave-robbing surgeons who make “splicers” out of body parts, without regard to species—and their toxic, degenerate descendants in contemporary backwater Florida swamps, who prey on tourists for eyes, kidneys and livers, Bazes has created a hilarious and provocative fantasy world, ‘splicing’ Pynchon and Hiassen, Dickens and Defoe into the kind of fun we wish for but often miss between two covers. Read this wild book!” —Peter Coyote, actor/author, Sleeping Where I Fall  …

From STEVE STERN:

“Imagine if you can Erskine Caldwell and the John Barth of The Sot-Weed Factor collaborating on a tale that careers like runaway horses back and forth across three centuries and you might have something approaching Terry Richard Bazes’ Lizard World. This is a novel that will intoxicate you with its mad invention and breathless hilarity even as it slaps you sober with its dark vision of human desire and the depredations of time.” —Steve Stern, author of The Angel of Forgetfulness  …

The Plot

After yokels in a Florida swamp kidnap him, scoop out his brain and transplant it into the body of an evil and still-surviving 17th-century English Lord, a dentist from New Jersey tries desperately to retain his identity and fight off an onslaught of alien memories.

For now that they’ve been surgically connected, the dentist and the lord alternate like Jekyll and Hyde: whenever the dentist’s brain tries to take control of the decrepit body and return to his life filling cavities in suburban New Jersey, the ancient lord interrupts him with three-hundred-year-old memories of his depraved youth when he debauched maidens, ate beggars, schemed to steal a dukedom and underwent excruciating operations that engrafted stolen body parts and cut out his growths of reptilian flesh.

 
COVER ILLUSTRATIONS BY LOUIS NETTER
Take a Walk Through Lizard World
» An excerpt from a 17-century section of the book.

» Another excerpt, from a 21st century section of the book.

» Here’s a bonus excerpt that ran in The Evergreen Review.

How I came to write Lizard World. (It all started with a family trip to Florida where I watched a zookeeper put an alligator to sleep by stroking its upturned belly.) Read more »
As a fiction writer, I am very much like a ventriloquist who has several different—mostly unpleasant—puppets consecutively sitting on his knee. Read more about what they have me saying...
 

“Goldsmith's Return is a novel of unusual ability and imagination.” —Joseph Heller

TV Interview About Lizard World
And Don’t Miss...

WORKS IN PROGRESS • My graphic novel A USER’S GUIDE TO PEOPLE

ESSAYS • My writing adventures, and how I received an apology for the Spanish Inquisition

TITULOMANIA • tit-u-lo-ma´-nia, n. A mental illness marked by grandiose delusions and an insatiable lust for impressive titles.