A smart, fresh tale for the millenial generation - about going to university, going to war, and growing up
It was the Friday before Independence Day and the twentysomethings of early-millennium Seattle were celebrating alcohol and freedom as they had done every Friday since time immemorial. On Fifteenth Avenue, in Capitol Hill, Mickey Montauk and Halifax Corderoy were hosting their sixth event as "The Encyclopaedists"...
Meet Mickey Montauk and Halifax Corderoy. On their own, they are two kids kicking around town after the end of high school, getting drunk and high and waiting for life to begin. Together, for one glorious, immortal summer, they are the Encyclopaedists: infamous hosts of the wildest parties Seattle has ever seen. But what will happen when the summer ends?
Autumn comes and life intervenes: the two friends find themselves flung worlds apart. Mickey's National Guard unit are deployed abroad and Hal must take up his place at college in Boston. All that remains of their old life is their last great in-joke, a nonsensical Wikipedia entry about themselves, The Encyclopaedists.
Out in Baghdad, Mickey finds himself in the middle of a brutal war that has no place for laid-back, sensitive youths or ironic webpages. Back in the US, Hal is marooned in the anonymity of the freshman college experience, rapidly realising the parties just aren't the same without his old partner in crime. And on top of all the upheavel there is Mani, Hal's bewitching, suddenly-homeless sort-of girlfriend...
In their first year as adults, these three characters will be transformed into people they would never have recognised - and might not even have let through the door - on the eve of Independence Day on Capitol Hill.
Razor-sharp, urgent and authentic, this is the story of a generation at a crossroads, staring down the barrel of adulthood and trying desperately not to blink.
'Extraordinary... An extremely moving story that feels as if it has something urgent to say about how we live now' Sunday Times
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Number of pages: 448
Weight: 309 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 27 mm
A captivating coming-of-age novel that is, by turns, funny and sad and elegiac - a novel that leaves us with revealing snapshots of America, and telling portraits of a couple of millennials trying to grope their way toward adulthood * Michiko Kakutani, New York Times *
One of the most revealing novels yet about the millennial generation... this might be their defining novel * Esquire *
Rather brilliant. It's like Franzen crossed with David Abrams... shrewd, funny and heartfelt * Independent *
As bizarre, hilarious and devastating as the past decade . . . Simultaneously a coming-of-age story, a war story, and a story of the disaffected millennial generation -- Phil Klay, author of Redeployment
Pacy, funny, sometimes heartbreaking... this is a fantastic read * Vogue *
[A] smart, wise and wise-assed first novel. Seattle hipsterville to Baghdad, Cambridge theory nerds and Army grunts, this book has sweep and heart and humor. It captures coming-of-age during foreign wars and domestic malaise, and it does so with electrifying insight -- Mary Karr, author of 'The Liars' Club'
Unfolds rapidly, humorously, and convincingly from page one * Library Journal *
Smart and entertaining . . . [a] likable, highly readable, double-bylined coming-of-age first novel * Kirkus *
An epic for the 9/11 generation... Chronicles the churning uncertainties of new adults, when everything represents possibility or peril * Booklist *
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