A Masque of Infamy
A novel by Kelly Dessaint

A Masque of Infamy is a ribald story of teenage rebellion and survival. After moving from Los Angeles to small town Alabama in 1987 with his father, his younger brother and this guy Rick, a friend of the family, Louis tries to fit in at the local high school, but the Bible-thumpers and the rednecks don't take too kindly to his outlandish wardrobe and burgeoning punk attitude. At home, he defies the sadistic intentions of Rick, who tries to rule the household with an iron fist. As Louis is about to be shipped off to military school, he stumbles upon indisputable proof that will free him and his brother from Rick's tyranny. But just when he thinks his troubles are over, he's locked up in the adolescent ward of a mental hospital, where he must fight the red tape of the system to save himself, Joey and maybe even his dream of being a punk rocker.

"Kelly Dessaint twists the horror of growing up in a highly dysfunctional American family into a hilarious tale of survival. Detailing the trauma of being institutionalized as a teenager after having taken revenge against an abusive father figure, A Masque of Infamy is a story about stubbornly overcoming the odds to live long enough to tell the truth about just how shitty it is to be a kid in this country." – Lydia Lunch

"A Masque of Infamy captures the screaming, up-from-the-toes intensity and torment of the United States of Adolescence. No one who reads this book will be left unchanged by its savage and unforgiving beauty." – Jerry Stahl

"The characters were well developed, the descriptions amazing and a story line that made me laugh and angry at the same time. A must read book." – Ginger Coyote, Punk Globe Zine

"…hypnotizing… complex, multi-faceted, uncensored, honest — yet 'creatively (and invisibly) engineered' to provide a compelling narrative that I didn't want to put down…" – V. Vale, Re/Search

"A Masque of Infamy is my kind of book! A no-bullshit novel – the type that reels the reader directly in with smooth passages, gritty dialogue and countless references to rock 'n' roll culture. The world needs less syrupy-sweet superficial feel-good yarns and more stories of surviving the human condition. Dessaint delivers." – Wes Funk, author of Dead Rock Stars

"The overwhelming rawness of Kelly Dessaint's story about children attempting to navigate a world completely fucked up by adults is like a punch to the chest." – Davida Gypsy Breier, Xerography Debt

$14.00 . paperback . 320 pages . 5″ x 8″ . ISBN: 1-930935-33-1


Click here to access the book blog: thrashmetalpunk.




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The tumblr blog for A Masque of Infamy... if Louis Baudrey were to do a tumblr, in 1987, this is what it would look like.




download the press release (PDF)

download a hi-res version of the cover (300dpi JPG)

2.4" x 2.4" ad: B&W PDF (print) | JPG (web)



alabama map
SUCKS, ALABAMA: The Unexpurgated Adventures of Louis Baudrey vs. Saks High











kelly dessaint by jesse hopkins

Kelly Dessaint was born and raised in Los Angeles. At fifteen, he moved to Alabama, where he ended up in a mental hospital and then state custody, an experience documented in his autobiographical novel A Masque of Infamy. After graduating from the University of Alabama, he lived and traveled across the country, working odd jobs and gathering material for the stories he has published under various pseudonyms in small press magazines and his zines, Vagabond Review and Piltdownlad. In 1998, he founded the publishing company Phony Lid Books, which released titles by numerous prominent small press authors. He lives in LA with his wife and three cats.



Phony Lid Titles

A Masque of Infamy
a novel by Kelly Dessaint


Sex & Guts 4
edited by Gene Gregorits & Lydia Lunch


The Bus
a novel by Steve Abee


a novel by Joi Brozek


Memoirs of a Street Poet
poems by Frank T. Rios


Unborn Again
poems by S.A. Griffin


Erratic Sleep in a Cold Hotel
poems by Marie Kazalia


Dillinger's Thompson
poem by Todd Moore


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