Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-08-08
- Reviewer: Staff
Bollen’s debut tells the story of a loose network of 30-somethings languishing in New York in the years between 9/11 and the financial meltdown. Life begins to unravel for Joseph Guiteau, a handsome actor with a deadly family legacy, after his green card marriage to Delphine “Del” Kousavos, a beautiful Greek immigrant stagnating in a dead-end job at the Bronx Zoo. As Joseph’s health begins to falter (part of his family curse), he seeks solace in the company of conspiracy theorists and grows close to an elderly woman whose husband may have been murdered by a corporate cabal. Meanwhile, Del tries to extinguish her feelings for a morose ex-boyfriend, Raj, but circumstances bring them closer. As Joseph and Del are driven inexorably apart, their friends William, a failed actor, and Madi, a ruthless corporate profiteer, are propelled together by a series of mysterious coincidences, resulting in a shocking catastrophe that will change each of their lives. While Bollen’s characters are brimming with the verve and stamina of real people searching for meaning in a city beset by calamity, the intersecting story lines in this swollen, sometimes unwieldy epic feel alternately fated and forced. Yet the novel demonstrates the vigor and audacity of a formidable new voice. (Sept.)