The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Bus trip inspires ‘epic travel’ novel

Kelly Moreno, contributing reporter

Journalist and aspiring author, Ryan Bartek, aka: Ghost Nomad, Benedict Badoglio, or Jack Cassady, debut novel “The Silent Burning” is pending re-release and is scheduled to be available online beginning in September.

In addition to the novel, Bartek has made a name for himself as a musician. Formally in the band, A.K.A MABUS, Bartek is currently in Portland, Oregon working on an acoustic album under the alias Jack Cassady. After the completion of the acoustic album, Bartek plans to relocate to Europe in order to create the sequel to the “Big Shiny Prison,” following a similar format.

His new novel, entitled “The Big Shiny Prison,” has yet to be published in paper—however, it is free to the public and available for download.

The story takes place over the span of less than a year from December 2006 to October 2007; in which Bartek spends 606 hours by way of Greyhound bus and travels 32 of the 50 states. Ultimately, Bartek’s novel is an “epic travel diary,” noting every account of his nomadic journey interviewing hidden underground talent.

Bartek said that one of the many messages of “The Big Shiny Prison” is “quite simply you only live once, there is no promise of an afterlife and all we have is now.”

“The Big Shiny Prison” is a candid exposé of a man’s journey to reconnect with himself, music and journalism.

Q&A with Ryan Bartek, author of “Big Shiny Prison”

Author Ryan Bartek sat down with the Daily Sundial to discuss his new book, life and his many aliases.

Was this book “The Big Shiny Prison” a mission of self discovery? Or was its goal to send a specific message to the audience?

Both. I wanted the personal experience as equally as I wanted to expose the American underground in a radically new format… my art communicates not a specific agenda but rather something primordial – I am seeking to incite change by example of direct action, to scream as loudly as possible to wake people from their slumber.

What element of this journey do you think you grew the most from?

The Samurai-like discipline that was necessary to endure this campaign, and the brutal aftermath of uncomfortable questions one inevitably faces having grown an entirely new soul.

What inspired your career in journalism?

It seemed the only viable way to fight “The Man,” per se. It also seemed the only logical option insofar as making a living. However, despite my efforts, I am but one lone voice screaming at the cruel foundations.

What musicians and writers had the biggest influence on you as a child growing up?

When I was 5, I lived around the block from a punk rock comic book store in East Dearborn, and I’d go home with stacks of “10 for a $1” used indies that were very adult themed and saturated with Cold War satire… Many authors have inspired me throughout the years, but the cream of the crop include Allen Ginsberg, Fernando Pessoa, Hunter S. Thompson, Henry Miller, Lautreamont, William Burroughs, HP Lovecraft, Kerouac, George Orwell and Anais Nin.

Where did your aliases originate? And what do some of them mean?

You are the first to ever ask this… I generally answer all correspondence with whatever is going through my head, usually something stupid and nonsensical, but I have many consistent aliases – GhostNomad, Jack Cassady, Benedict Badoglio, Il Propagandist, RBT, Clownfuehrer, and, of course, Dr. Ryan Bartek… The running gag is that I am not a doctor of journalism, but a doctor of Cryptozoology. Yes, as in the study of Sasquatch, unicorns, etc… RBT is short for Ryan Bartek, which is actually a play on RVD, the wrestler Rob Van Damme.

The novel is available for download at, For more information about Ryan Bartek,, or

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