Why I really decided to write this book now is like, the world seems to be spinning out of control, you know? People are so mad at each other. People are taking life so seriously. People are losing hope. And I think, honestly, it's because people are so rooted in their own particular spot in the universe.
But something happens to you when you're touring all around the world all the time. Something happens to you when you visit some country you've never heard of and you see your face on the side of a bus being used to sell some soda that you didn't even know existed, and you call up your people and you're like: Yo, did we agree to this? And they tell you: Yes, it was part of an overall deal with East Asia.
Something happens: You realise how tiny you are.
Honestly, that's what amazes me the most with a lot of the people I meet: they think they're so big. They think, ultimately, that the universe revolves around them. And I'm beginning to think that it's only when you live a life like mine - it's only when you're in a position where you don't even really own yourself, when you can't even really say that you're a citizen of any particular country - that you realise that we're all just tiny pieces of cosmic dust floating through the void until we disappear forever and we're never heard from again.
So begins the life story of our uber famous twenty-two year old narrator. A teen idol since he was twelve, when a video of him singing the national anthem went viral, his star has only risen since. Now, haunted by the suicide of his manager-father in the wake of their painful parting, unsettled by the very different paths he and his his teenage love (and girl pop-star counterpart) "Mandy" have taken, and increasingly aware that he has signed on to something he has little control over, he begins to parse the divide that separates him from the "normal people" of the world, and enlighten the rest of us along the way. Sneakily philosophical, earnest and funny, Famous People is a rollicking, unforgettable look at the clash between fame and the human condition, and what it really means to be "normal."
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company Inc
Number of pages: 224
Weight: 310 g
Dimensions: 217 x 143 x 19 mm
"[I've] been familiar with Kuritzkes's looping, philosophical humor for a while. . . .Famous People is one monologue, dipped in a vat of vocal fry and ego death. . . entertaining and sort of heartbreaking." --The New Yorker, 'What We're Reading This Summer'
"Kuritzkes's clever debut is a hilarious probing social commentary... Kuritzkes flawlessly strikes the right balance between searing and comedic as his narrator searches for the true meaning of being a normal person while being famous. This is an incisive and fresh debut." --Publishers Weekly
"Kuritzkes' novel feels modern and original, capturing the bizarre life, thoughts, and rationalizations of
someone who came of age in front of an audience." --Booklist
"A thoughtful, subtly structured exploration of fame and its discontents." --Kirkus
"Famous People is a hysterical, moving and uncanny portrait of premature fame. It perfectly captures a voice we rarely read: articulate but non-academic, profound but shallow, superior but curious. It's an extraordinary character, brilliantly conceived." --Jesse Eisenberg, Academy-award nominated actor and author of Bream Gives Me Hiccups
"Framed as a memoir, Famous People is told with a voice so real you'll have to remind yourself that it's a novel. Justin Kuritzkes has come up with something new in this, something relevant, maybe even prescient. This is a story fit for our times." --Nico Walker, author of Cherry