Indie-lit star and Faster Times editor Adam Wilson delivers the gleefully absurd, effortlessly heartwarming story of one young man's struggle to shake off the listless, sexless, stoned mantle of suburban teenage life and become something better. Read more...
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Indie-lit star and Faster Times editor Adam Wilson delivers the gleefully absurd, effortlessly heartwarming story of one young man's struggle to shake off the listless, sexless, stoned mantle of suburban teenage life and become something better. Fortunately (maybe) for Eli, his apathetic quest finds a catalyzing agent in one Mr. Seymour J. Kahn, a paraplegic sex addict and two-bit silver screen star who initiates a mad decent into debasement and (of course) YouTube stardom--a transformation from which there will be no going back.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-11-21
- Reviewer: Staff
Well past high school and still living off the “Daddy Guilt Fund,” Eli Schwartz, the narrator of this rollicking debut novel, is the classic couch-bound failure-to-launch whiling away his 20s “denying real time, like an anthropologist attempting to study a distant, extinct species, wondering what went wrong.” Eli’s simple passions—pop culture, cooking, and watching the Food Network—render his life a pleasant stupor suddenly interrupted when his mother sells the house to one “Seymour J. Kahn: actor, cripple.” The once accomplished and beloved but now elderly and wheelchair-bound Seymour acts as a time-lapsed version of Eli (“I recognize my own kind,” he says upon meeting him). And under the old man’s terrible tutelage, Eli awakens to a wholly incongruous lifestyle of hillbilly heroin and gunplay. Comedy and pathos abound in Seymour’s absurdist world, and in Eli’s fantasies of a better life that come in the form of hilariously familiar cinematic scenarios in which, for instance, the screwup becomes the star chef. Fans of Jack Pendarvis and Sam Lipsyte will enjoy Wilson’s fresh, fantastical perspective and the ways in which his vessel, Eli, proves too wry to allow the clichés to play out. Agent: Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Literary Agency. (Mar.)