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The Mystery of the Seventeen Pilot Fish

The Mystery of the Seventeen Pilot Fish

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The Mystery of the Seventeen Pilot Fish

Mike Kleine


 It's the end of the end of the world and the house that holds together our universe is quietly falling apart. The Mystery of the Seventeen Pilot Fish is as much about a detective solving his final case as it is the definitive who, what, why, when, where, how & how much of just about everything you have ever imagined.


Full-length, Existential, Comedy, Horror, Bizarro

Cast: 2M(?), 1W(?), ~3A, 1 Michael Jordan

Cover Design by Austin Breed // Book Trailer



Cultured Vultures

Beatrix Turán



Wild, nonsensical, possibly cursed, and almost certainly unperformable, Mike Kleine's The Mystery of the Seventeen Pilot Fish reads like a transcript of Raymond Roussel's deathbed confession or a fever dream taking place somewhere just outside the frame of a David Lynch film.

—James Tadd Adcox


Any attempt to stage Mike Kleine's The Mystery of the Seventeen Pilot Fish might trigger the apocalypse. Kleine has accomplished something rare with this book: the page itself becomes a kind of theatre, a dadaist take on the drawing room play juxtaposed with lists that would make Rabelais jealous, menacing prophecies, and characters so unstable even their names won't stay in place.

—Christian TeBordo


In The Mystery of the Seventeen Pilot Fish, stuff explodes without a sound, morphing into bits of coloured paper. Nothing is where it belongs. Nothing is where you expect it to be. Black men appear out of the sun then disappear a moment later. No one remains who they are for very long. Characters constantly change their names. Stage directions include occurrences that no one can see. You'll come away believing—and even hungering for—the stuff that has always been right there in front of you, stuff that you'll never see or hear or touch or feel, stuff you can only imagine, stuff whose very power lies in its intangibility.

—Ken Sparling


Imagine a metaphysical domestic drama performed amidst an apocalyptic invasion of mythical beasts, celebrities, bad vibes, and landlocked marine life where God himself is a disgruntled audience member. You don't have to. This is it.

—Simon Jacobs


Mike Kleine makes you question both the reality of who his characters are in relation to each other and your own sense of truth. In The Mystery of the Seventeen Pilot Fish the scope of his world is both epic and historically sweeping and quite small and awkward. The minutia of detail keeps the story on the edge, and the discoveries made in the moment are like just letting go on that one roller coaster that always scared you as a kid, but now, as an adult, you're like—fuck it, why the hell not—this is probably what it's all about anyway.

—Trish Harnetiaux

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