One of the novel’s main characters, Sasha appears in several of the novel’s stories as both a major and minor character. Sasha struggles with her identity, and lives a wild life as she attempts to… read analysis of Sasha Blake
Another main character in the novel, Bennie is a record executive. His mentor, Lou Kline, introduces him to the music industry as a teenager, and he becomes very successful. His success, however, leaves him… read analysis of Bennie Salazar
Lou Kline is a powerful and charismatic music producer who lives a decadent lifestyle that includes eating at fancy restaurants, doing cocaine, and seducing young women. Early in the novel, he has a relationship with… read analysis of Lou Kline
Guitarist of the Flaming Dildos, Scotty is an eccentric musician. Bennie’s good friend as a teenager, Scotty and Bennie stop hanging out after Scotty begins dating Alice, whom Bennie has a crush on… read analysis of Scotty Hausman
Bosco, the former guitarist of the Conduits, has fallen from fame and become fat, alcoholic, and sick with cancer. In an attempt to regain his fame, Bosco decides to go on a suicide tour, during… read analysis of Bosco
A punk rocker in her youth, Rhea dyes her hair green to assume a punk identity, but feels self conscious about her freckles. Rhea is in love with Bennie, but feels left out because… read analysis of Rhea
A childhood friend of Rhea, Bennie and Scotty, Jocelyn begins a sexual relationship with Lou Kline at the age of seventeen. Jocelyn spends much of her adult life in and out of rehab… read analysis of Jocelyn
Early in the novel, Alex is new to New York City, and enamored by the novel environment. He goes on a date with Sasha, during which she steals a woman’s wallet. Alex has strong… read analysis of Alex
Dolly’s daughter, Lulu is a sociable young girl who often seems ashamed of and unable to relate to her mother. She travels with Dolly to an unnamed location to do PR work for the… read analysis of Lulu
Christopher’s mother and Bennie’s wife and business associate, Stephanie moves from New York City to the wealthy community of Crandale with her family. A tattooed woman and recovering drug addict, Stephanie feels out… read analysis of Stephanie
A famous actress who is assaulted by Jules Jones after an interview, during which he notes the power of her fame over those around her. A compassionate person, Kitty forgives Jules’ crime, and goes on… read analysis of Kitty Jackson
A suicidal college student, Rob pretends to be Sasha’s boyfriend so that Sasha’s father will finally think Sasha is dating a “nice” boy. Rob has depression, is possibly gay, and feels disconnected from himself… read analysis of Rob
The daughter of Sasha and Drew, Alison is a stubborn young woman who keeps a journal compiled of PowerPoint slides. She has tremendous love for her brother, Lincoln, and her father, but struggles… read analysis of Alison Blake
Sasha’s uncle, Ted Hollander is a frustrated art scholar who goes to Naples to tried to locate Sasha. He is pleased that Sasha’s father funds the trip, and spends time viewing art, as opposed… read analysis of Ted Hollander
Also known as Charlie, Charlene is Lou’s daughter. On a trip to Africa with her father, she misses her mother and tries to connect to her younger brother, Rolph. She is defiant in… read analysis of Charlene (Charlie)
A Ph.D. candidate in anthropology at Berkley, Mindy is Lou’s girlfriend who travels to Africa with Lou and his children. An intelligent and motivated woman, Mindy has an inclination to analyze the interactions she… read analysis of Mindy
Stephanie’s brother, Jules is a frantic and neurotic journalist incarcerated for assaulting Kitty Jones after an interview. He spends time in prison, and moves in with Stephanie and Bennie after his release. He goes on to write a biography of Bosco titled “Conduit: A Rock and Roll Suicide.”
A friend of Sasha and Rob, Drew is a motivated young man from Wisconsin. He states he wants to become President of the United States, but ends up marrying Sasha and becoming a surgeon. He has a good heart, but has trouble connecting with his children.
The autistic child of Sasha and Drew, Lincoln is obsessed with pauses in great rock and roll songs. He is intelligent, but socially awkward. He fails to relate to his father, but eventually finds connection through a project they do that involves graphing pauses in rock and roll music.
Lou’s son, Rolph is a sensitive and naïve child who struggles to connect to his father. Rolfe commits suicide at the age of twenty-eight after years of estrangement from Lou.
A genocidal dictator who hires Dolly to cover up his inhumane actions and reframe his image to avoid assassination.
The General’s human relations captain.
A friend of Bennie and Scotty, Alice is desired by both friends. Rhea attempts to befriend her, but Alice does not trust her. Alice marries Scotty, but ends up divorcing him.
Sasha’s friend in college, Lizzie dates a man named, Bix. Bix is black, and Lizzie has to hide this fact from her bigoted mother.
Lizzie’s boyfriend, Bix is a black graduate student who has an interest in technology.
Alex’s second wife and stepmother to Alex’s daughter.
Lou’s travel agent.
A tour guide in Africa, Albert drives the safari vehicle for Lou and his family during their safari.
A blond actor who often states the obvious, Dean joins Lou and his family on their safari.
A young girl who travels through Africa with Lou and his family. Louise goes on to reconnect with Dean years after the safari, and eventually marries him.
Bassist of the band the Mad Hatters, Chronos joins Lou and his family on the safari. He is attacked by a lion, and saved by Albert.
One of two older women on the safari with Lou and his family. Fiona and her friend Mildred are supposedly birdwatchers.
The other woman on the safari with Lou and his family, Mildred and her friend Fiona are supposedly birdwatchers.
Sasha’s therapist, Coz attempts to help Sasha admit her problem with stealing and overcome it.
Bennie’s executive producer.
Benny and his son Christopher’s therapist.
A member of the pop duo Stop/Go, Chandra is a musician and older sister of Louisa.
A member of the pop duo Stop/Go, Louisa is a musician and younger sister of Chandra.
a shy violin player, Marty plays with the Flaming Dildos.
Lou’s old army buddy, Ramsey is the owner of the Safari company that Lou and his family travel with in Africa.
Scotty’s fishing buddy.
Kathy’s husband, Clay is a wealthy member of the Crandale community.
Clay’s wife, Kathy is a tennis player who befriends Stephanie and becomes her tennis partner. Kathy has an affair with Bennie.
An introverted woman and outcast in the Crandale community.
Beth’s second husband, and Sasha’s stepfather.
Ted Hollander’s wife.
Ted Hollander’s son.
Sasha’s estranged father.
Drummer of the band the Pinheads, Wade is a touring musician who travels through Asia and Europe with Sasha before abandoning her in Hong Kong.
Bennie’s second wife.
An old friend of Alex, Zeus helps Alex promote Scotty’s show.
The drummer for the Flaming Dildos. A smart kid, with an overprotective father.
Scotty’s fishing buddy.