Christopher Bollen

The Destroyers

"..Patmos is a wonderful setting for this dark, clever and very literary novel.."


Arriving on the Greek island of Patmos broke and humiliated, Ian Bledsoe is fleeing the emotional and financial fallout from his father's death. His childhood friend Charlie—rich, exuberant, and basking in the success of his new venture on the island—could be his last hope.

At first Patmos appears to be a dream—long sun-soaked days on Charlie's yacht and the reappearance of a girlfriend from Ian's past—and Charlie readily offers Ian the lifeline he so desperately needs. But, like Charlie himself, this beautiful island conceals a darkness beneath, and it isn't long before the dream begins to fragment. When Charlie suddenly vanishes, Ian finds himself caught up in deception after deception. As he grapples with the turmoil left in his friend's wake, he is reminded of an imaginary game called Destroyers they played as children—a game, he now realizes, they may have never stopped playing.

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The central character of this novel is Ian Bledsoe, a down-on-his-luck New Yorker running away from the mess he's made of his life so far. Ian's father, a baby-food magnate, has recently died, leaving everything he has to Ian's step-family. Bereft and penniless, Ian steals money from his dead father's bank account and uses it to visit his old school friend, Charlie, on the Greek island of Patmos. The island of Patmos is a wonderful setting for this dark, clever and very literary novel about greed, privilege and wasted youth. I did feel that while I enjoyed this book, it could have done with some serious editing to quicken the pace. If you're planning a trip to the Greek islands anytime soon, this novel would be the perfect companion.

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