First novel satirizes smoking and information overload – Eagle News Online

LIVERPOOL – Citing influences ranging from Don Delillo to James Joyce, writer Basil Dillon-Malone – who lives in Liverpool on Sweet Gum Lane – basks in the glow of his debut novel.

A hugely imaginative story told in colorful – sometimes purple – prose “The Last Smoker on Earth…and the End of Literature” centers on an unlikely but suitably flawed hero addicted to nicotine.

“The Last Smoker on Earth”

Published last June by Manitoba-based FriesenPress, “The Last Smoker” is set in a fictional world in which smoking has been banned globally. The cessation act was initiated during the transition between the Bush and Obama administrations with dire implications due to the rampant rumor that Obama was a hidden cigarette smoker.

“The novel uses tobacco as a metaphor for the declining interest in reading and literature today, especially by [millennials]”Basile said. “It’s a satire on climate change, lung cancer, obesity, information overload and economic collapse.”

Filled with puns and prose enhanced by its stream-of-consciousness process, the novel abounds with allusions, literary and musical, serious and pop, obvious and obscure, scientific and simply playful. The result defies gender.

The book is a parody of a gifted writer who lives two lives – one as the last smoker on earth and the other in the media industry interfacing with celebrities, many of whom make cameo appearances. The Last Smoker is about such disparate characters as Oliver Stone and Dan Rather, Kelsey Grammer and Glenn Close, John McEnroe and John Waters.

Basil born in Ireland

Early novelist Basil Dillon-Malone was born in County Mayo in the west of Ireland and graduated with an engineering degree from University College Dublin. Creative writing has been his passion, as he has crossed six continents working in the international cable telecommunications industry while taking anecdotal notes along the way.

For the past 24 years, Basil has worked as Regional Vice President at Arcom Digital LLC, headquartered in Syracuse.

Sixteen years ago his collection of poetry, ‘mcdynasty: from the ming dynasty to mcdonald’s’, was published by Lapwing Publications, Belfast. Over the years, Basil’s technical articles, variously serious and fanciful literary works have been published in the UK, USA, Canada, Switzerland, India, China and Argentina. He is a founding member of the Syracuse James Joyce Club.

Basil’s novel has earned praise from fellow writers. Syracuse poet Patrick Lawler called “The Last Smoker” “a bit of lyrical and satirical prose”. Boston poet Suzanne Mercury said simply, “It’s a wild ride.

Nurturing Beginning Artists

Last summer, Sandra Sabene’s Liverpool Art Center moved from Lake Drive to the Village Mall at 305 Vine St. Now the center spans across the mall’s lobby, opening a second space designed specifically to nurture future artists.

The Liverpool Art Center will soon host Youth Art Classes for pupils aged 6 to 11 from 5pm to 6.30pm on Tuesdays. The center will also host a Winter Teen Art Challenge in which prizes for the best show will total $350.

Looking forward to summer, LAC will be hosting an art camp for teens over three long weekends in June, July and August at Pathfinder Studio & Nature Sanctuary in Martville, Cayuga County.

For information, visit, call 315-234-9333 or email [email protected]

Last word

“Finding a creative outlet can make all the difference. Find a community that feels like family and is golden.

– Sandra Sabene, owner of Liverpool Arts Center

Irene B. Bowles