Conquistador of the Useless (Paperback)
  • Conquistador of the Useless (Paperback)
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Conquistador of the Useless (Paperback)

(author)
£12.99
Paperback 240 Pages / Published: 27/06/2013
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Joshua Isard's debut novel is a hoot. Our hero Nathan Wavelsky moves into the burbs with his wife. Life is good. He's a successful slacker. He doesn't want to rock the boat. His definition of a good time is listening to his favorite bands on his iPod and staring at the grass and the poplar trees in his backyard. As a mid-level corporate manager, he does what his bosses tell him. If they want somebody fired, he fires them. No questions asked. But the boat does start to rock. He innocently gives a copy of Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle to a teenage girl and his neighbors are righteously appalled. His wife's hormones start to tango and now she wants a baby. Sure, he enjoys sex, but that doesn't mean he wants a baby in the house. Worse, his best friend wants him to climb Mount Everest. Nathan likes to camp and hike, but climbing the Himalayas? He could die, for God's sake. He just wants to be left alone. But no chance. Shit begins to happen.

Joshua Isard developed and is the director of Arcadia University's low-residency MFA Creative Writing program. Since the program is high-tech and has a study abroad component, it gives him a chance to enjoy two of his favorite things at work: travel and Apple products. His short stories have appeared in numerous magazines and in the anthologies The Lie of the Land and Outlandish Affairs. He lives outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with his wife and two cats.


Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press,U.S.
ISBN: 9781935955542
Number of pages: 240
Weight: 298 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"Anyone who grew up at the tail-end of Generation X will find something to love in this book. All told, a fine novel about settling down without settling."
--"Small Press Reviews"

"If ever there was a novel about ordinary characters doing ordinary things, this is it, and it's kind of an amazing effort because of how simple it is: It doesn't try to overscale its themes, and so the material rings true and is surprisingly affecting. It expands in the mind like an insistent beat because it's a reminder of one's own years of painful self-analysis."
--"San Antonio Express-News"

"Reading this book is like catching up with an old friend from back in the day--the friend who got the same dirty looks you did, the ones for looking different than the other kids. The friend who turned you on to records you never heard of and would treat your records with respect. The friend who was equally disappointed when the football team started singing along to Nirvana, breaking out of "their" world and entering 'our' world. The friend who has pretty much followed the same path in life you have, the one you can still connect with.
I felt such nostalgia at the band shoutouts in "Conquistador of the Useless". A lot of memories came back that felt so good and had been just out of reach until I read it cover to cover on a plane ride. The journey of discovering belongs to each one of us, but it's reassuring when you read someone's take on a journey that feels so familiar."
—Jim Ward, member of At the Drive-In and Sleepercar

"Isard's debut novel is one of the best I've read in a while, a heartbreaking book, and a funny and emotionally trying read that's worth every minute of your time."
--Philadelphia Review of Books

"Anyone who grew up at the tail-end of Generation X will find something to love in this book. All told, a fine novel about settling down without settling."
--Small Press Reviews

"If ever there was a novel about ordinary characters doing ordinary things, this is it, and it's kind of an amazing effort because of how simple it is: It doesn't try to overscale its themes, and so the material rings true and is surprisingly affecting. It expands in the mind like an insistent beat because it's a reminder of one's own years of painful self-analysis."
--San Antonio Express-News

"Reading this book is like catching up with an old friend from back in the day--the friend who got the same dirty looks you did, the ones for looking different than the other kids. The friend who turned you on to records you never heard of and would treat your records with respect. The friend who was equally disappointed when the football team started singing along to Nirvana, breaking out of "their" world and entering 'our' world. The friend who has pretty much followed the same path in life you have, the one you can still connect with.
I felt such nostalgia at the band shoutouts in Conquistador of the Useless. A lot of memories came back that felt so good and had been just out of reach until I read it cover to cover on a plane ride. The journey of discovering belongs to each one of us, but it's reassuring when you read someone's take on a journey that feels so familiar."
--Jim Ward, member of At the Drive-In and Sleepercar

"A brilliant novel..."
--Geekadelphia

"Rich in both detail and humor ... [Isard] has spoken the unspoken, something men think, but shouldn't say, much less imply."
?This Blog Will Change Your Life

"Nathan's evolution from ornery 90s cliche to absurdist hero is well worth the read. The authenticity of the author's voice and lack of literary pretension also makes for an enjoyable experience."
--Cleaver Magazine

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