Brian Horace Moriarty grows up a normal child in the Seattle suburbs, save for his debilitating stutter. Brian endures prejudice and bullying but is unable to control his violent outbursts whenever frustrated at being unable to communicate with words. A priest to whom Brian is sent by his parents for spiritual counseling takes advantage of Brian's vulnerability in an incident that haunts Brian and complicates his view of himself and the speaking world. Angry with himself for having been a victim, he victimizes others in seeking revenge for his hurt. Eventually an elderly Brian moves to the Alaskan outback with the intent of writing a novel about a stutterer who saves the world. In a dramatic climax, the Tongass wilderness is set ablaze and Brian realizes, on the verge of his death, that his stutter was always a gift as well as a curse.
Praise for First Consonants
"A compelling, at times relentless novel that gives the term antihero a brand-new spin."
—Felice Picano, author of Like People in History, The Book of Lies, and Onyx
"A flame of rage burns at the core of Brian Moriarty, ignited by a traumatic birth and fueled by a lifetime of debasement and abuse because Brian stutters. Treat's First Consonants is incendiary, placing the reader in thefurious heart of Brian's world. As we may decry his actions, we cannot help but want a balm for him, a cool soothing of hisimplacable ire, lest it consume and reduce him to ash."
—Terry Wolverton, the author of Stealing Angel
First Consonants touches on the origins of violence, of love, and what it means to find one's way through the maze that is the world. Here is a story that is engrossing, vulnerable and wise in a way that few books are these days."
—Jim Krusoe, author of The Sleep Garden
"Written in ludic, kinetic prose, at turns beautiful and harrowing, it has an expansiveness and ethical import that is rare."
—Alistair McCartney, author of The Disintegrations