Jess Walter calls it
“A smart, engaging 21st-century comedy of manners in which the debut novelist Adelle Waldman crawls convincingly around inside the head of one Nathaniel (Nate) Piven. [She shows] herself to be . . . a savvy observer of human nature . . . . terrific at describing the halting miscommunications of a relationship. Nate’s self-destructive moodiness and reverse-engineered justifications are especially well drawn; his shallow pick-a-fight thoughts may even be painfully familiar.”
And Katie Roiphe, writing for Slate, says
"We have lately heard ad infinitum the new sensitive literary man’s account of his life and times... what we haven’t yet heard enough of is the smart literary woman’s view of him. With Adelle Waldman’s funny, provocative satire, The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., we have a valuable new anthropology of the type. In a debut novel told from his point of view, Waldman deftly skewers the new literary man... with his stylish torment, his self-seriousness, his dangerous admixture of grandiosity and insecurity, and old fashioned condescension toward women gussied up as sensitivity, his maddening irony, his very specific way of treating people badly while worrying about liberal politics.... [An] excellent funny novel."
Monologue topics: poem, Michael Earl Craig, Primitive Men.
Booklist, in a starred review, calls it
“A dramatic, thoroughgoing investigation of the complexities of sexuality and gender.... A warmly human coming-of-age story, thanks to the fact that Max is such an appealing character. And so his desperate search for identity is gripping, emotionally engaging, and genuinely unforgettable.”
And Emily St. John Mandel says
“Abigail Tarttelin is a fearless writer. In Golden Boy, she balances a harrowing coming of age with a deeply compassionate portrait of a family in crisis, and the result is sometimes brutal, often tender, and always compelling. This is a gripping and fully-realized novel.”Monologue topics: politics, media, money, Washington DC, power, This Town, dystopia, depression.
Nick Antosca is the guest. A staff writer on the upcoming NBC show Believe, helmed by J.J. Abrams and Alfonso Cuarón, he is also the author of several books, the most recent of which is a story collection called The Girlfriend Game, available now from Word Riot Press.
Peter Straub says
"These lovely stories float out to us from a long, dark alley-way where Franz Kafka and Bruno Schultz are mugging Ray Bradbury.... Nick Antosca has reached a level of blissful mastery."
And Publishers Weekly says
"Antosca's scalpel dissects love, family, and illusions of morality in this brutal and often uncomfortably sexual collection. Combining scathing horror and psychological realism, these 12 vivisections of the inhuman condition marry stinging social commentary with psychological horror... Horror's expected icons are replaced by neighbors and families, with relationships being the monsters... This literate, thoughtful horror will inspire long-lasting unease."
Monologue topics: addicition, moral ambiguity, the vastness of space, dark mystery.
Time magazine calls it
"A gutsy attempt by a young, female author to embody a wholly unsympathetic female narrator and probe the question of whether society lets women essentially get away with crimes for which men are excoriated."
And Salon says
"It may be the summer’s best beach read — that is, if you ditch the disconcertingly woolly black velour dust jacket, and make sure your kids aren’t peeking over your shoulder. ...Beyond mere titillation, Tampa gets at fundamental questions: What are the limits of reader empathy? If an individual we’d view as an unrepentant criminal explains her twisted thought process, are we complicit if we keep reading? And is an adult woman seducing a young male student — with its air of 'hot for teacher' fantasy — meaningfully different from male pedophilia?"
Monologue topics: listener feedback, closing thoughts on the 'lovely and talented' debate.
The New York Times Book Review raves
"You Are One of Them is a hugely absorbing first novel from a writer with a fluid, vivid style and a rare knack for balancing the pleasure of entertainment with the deeper gratification of insight. More, please.”
And Darin Strauss says
“Elliott Holt is not just a promising writer, but a great writer. She’s young, and she’s a master. I was going to write that You Are One of Them could’ve been written by an Alice Munro or a Susan Minot, but that would be wrong. Because this book could only have been written by Elliott Holt, whose powerful new voice is her own.”
Monologue topics: lovely and talented, sexism, feminism, TNB Book Club.
Patricia Geary says
“I’m a huge fan of Carswell’s fiction: he’s intelligent, hilarious, incisive, and his ear for dialogue is extraordinary. Nevertheless, I found Madhouse Fog to be a geometric progression of his talent—besides being compelling and wonderfully strange (I lost sleep over it; it’s a damn hard book to put down), it is the epitome of literary sophistication. I loved this novel!”
And Scott O'Connor says
“Sean Carswell is full of surprises. He’s funny, frightening, madcap, philosophical. His writing has a real warmth of spirit, and the kind of deft observation that changes the way you see things long after you leave the page.”
Monologue topics: Amazon, Apple, Big 5 publishers, the future of publishing, the business of publishing, paranoia.
Sam Lipsyte says
“People as multi-talented and skilled as Alina Simone, who sings beautifully, writes essays, and now foists upon us a truly funny and poignant novel, need to be stopped. And maybe they will be, but in the meantime, there is no harm in falling into the soulful voice of Simone's narrator, Anna, as she struggles with the end of numb, cubicled youth and the awkward beginnings of new life.”
And Kirkus calls it
“A remarkably assured debut . . . Wicked, witty.”
Monologue topics: Fourth of July, the weird story of how my bad back was finally healed.
Lee Boudreaux is the guest. She is the editorial director at Ecco Press and has worked with a long list of notable authors, including Stephen King, David Wroblewski, Alissa Nutting, Patrick DeWitt, and Ben Fountain.
Monologue topics: mail, strange mail, Whole Foods, marriage, parenthood, using your words.